Nebraska Wesleyan took advantage of three first quarter Dordt turnovers to jump ahead 21-0 early and they would hold on for a 27-7 victory over the Defenders in GPAC football action on Saturday (Oct. 13) in Sioux Center, Iowa.
NWU (2-4, 1-4 GPAC) ends their four game losing streak and picks up their first conference win of the season, while Dordt remains winless at 0-7, 0-6 GPAC.
Seth Wardyn intercepted a pass and returned it 65 yards less than five minutes into the game to put the Prairie Wolves up 7-0. On Dordt’s very next offensive snap they fumbled again as Russell Walton recovered the ball at the Defender 30 yard line. Six plays later, Jordan Delbaugh scored on a two-yard rushing touchdown to put NWU up 14-0.
The Defenders didn’t fare much better on their next offensive possession, this time quarterback Kyle Henricks fumbled on the second play of the drive and Michael Huettner recovered at the 13 yard line.
Quarterback Tyler Francis, making his first start of the season, found Dustin Bryant on a 7-yard swing pass into the end zone to put the Prairie Wolves up 21-0.
Dordt finally got on the board in the second quarter after gaining possession from a Francis fumble. Erin Francis scored on a 2-yard TD run to pull the Defenders within two touchdowns.
Aaron Lorraine added a 31-yard field goal in the second quarter for NWU to make the score 24-7 Prairie Wolves at halftime.
Neither team could muster any offense in the second half and the only scoring was a Lorraine 26-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
The biggest stat of the game was penalty yards as the Prairie Wolves were penalized 15 times for 170 yards, while Dordt had 0 penalties. Coming into the game, NWU had committed just four total penalties the previous two games.
NWU finished with 341 yards of total offense, compared to just 113 for Dordt. Just last week the Defenders put up 691 yards of total offense against Dakota Wesleyan.
The Prairie Wolves had 214 passing yards and 127 yards on the ground. Francis was 20-33 for 169 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions in his first start at quarterback for NWU. Four different players caught four passes for NWU, with Dustin Bryant, Brooks Erhart , Connor Davis and Jordan Delbaugh all recording four receptions. Bryant led NWU on the ground with 53 yards on 12 carries.
Dordt was just 8-26 through the air and NWU picked off four passes. The Defenders also were held to 59 rush yards on 42 carries, after rushing for over 440 yards last week.
Wardyn led NWU with 11 total tackles and his interception for a touchdown. Cody Eiler, Chris Heibel and Drew Ongna also had interceptions for the Prairie Wolves.
Nebraska Wesleyan will try to carry this momentum into next Saturday’s homecoming game against Concordia at Abel Stadium.