Nebraska Wesleyan finished the 2012 season with their fifth straight win as they defeated conference rival Hastings College, 21-14, in the season finale of GPAC football on Saturday (Nov. 10) at Lloyd Wilson Field in Hastings, Neb. NWU finishes the year 6-4 overall, 5-4 in the GPAC to place in a tie for fourth in the conference.
NWU took advantage of four first half Bronco turnovers to grab a 13-0 lead at halftime. A key fourth down touchdown pass in the fourth quarter from Tyler Francis to Jordan Delbaugh gave NWU a two touchdown lead and the Prairie Wolves defense made a key fourth & goal stop to seal the win.
The Prairie Wolves got the scoring started in the first quarter as Prairie Wolves used a muffed punt recovery at the 10-yard line to put them in scoring position. Francis hit Nate Jones on a 10-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead.
Senior linebacker Brett Kaczor then intercepted a Bronco pass and set up an Aaron Lorraine field goal. Kaczor also recovered a fumble in the first half to set up another Lorraine field goal.
Kaczor, playing with a cracked sternum, added another interception in the second quarter. Kaczor had 15 total tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery for a huge performance.
In the second half, NWU missed two field goal attempts and gave Hastings a chance to answer. The Broncos got on the board in the third quarter as Sean Robnett scored on a 2-yard run to make the score 13-7.
A NWU turnover gave the Broncos the ball in good field position again with the momentum. Kaczor then forced his biggest turnover of the season as on the next play he stripped Dostal of the ball to give NWU the ball right back at the end of the third quarter.
That set up the 24-yard touchdown pass from Francis to Delbaugh on 4th & 11 made the score 19-7. Delbaugh then caught the two point conversion to make the score 21-7.
Hastings drove down the field to answer but was stopped on 4th & goal from the six yard line. After a NWU punt, the Broncos drove down the field again this time capping the drive with a 7-yard TD run from Keenan Ballage.
The Broncos kicked deep and tried to force NWU to get a first down. On third down with time winding down, Francis connected to Ryan Larsen to seal the game as NWU ended the game in victory formation.
NWU finished with 264 yards of total offense. Dustin Bryant had 76 rushing yards, while Tyler Francis was 13-27 for 171 yards through the air. Delbaugh led NWU with four catches for 59 yards.
Hastings had 318 yards of total offense, getting 198 in the air and 120 on the ground. By holding the Broncos to 120 yards on the ground, NWU will finish the season with a new school record for rushing yards per game.