Nebraska Wesleyan took advantage of two Concordia turnovers deep into Bulldogs territory as the Prairie Wolves came away with a touchdown and field goal then the tough NWU defense held the Bulldogs out of the endzone to preserve a 10-7 victory in GPAC football action on Saturday (Oct. 22) in Seward, Neb.
NWU has now won two straight and improves to 4-3 overall, 3-3 in GPAC while Concordia falls to 4-4, 3-3 GPAC.
Concordia quarterback Cohl Tufford fumbled at his own seven yard line to set up NWU for their first touchdown. Two plays later Ethan Myers found Dalton Thyfault for a 12-yard TD pass to put NWU ahead 7-0.
The Bulldogs lone score also came in the first quarter when Heath Broekemeier broke on a Myers pass and picked if off then returned it 25 yards for a touchdown.
Concordia had a chance to score right before halftime as they drove all the way down to the 20-yard line, but Zack Warner missed a field goal as time expired.
It was the first of three missed field goals in the game for the Bulldogs, just as NWU missed three field goals in last season's 3-0 game that was won by Concordia.
The next big break for the Prairie Wolves came towards the end of the third quarter. NWU punter Kelby Vandenberg sent a booming 65-yard punt down to the six yard and Bulldog return man Chris Smith tried an over the shoulder catch but fumbled the ball. Michael Huettner came up with the fumble to set up NWU at the six yard line.
However, a personal foul made the drive start at the 22-yard line. NWU got the ball to the eight yard line to set up a 25-yard field goal attempt from Steven Anderson. Anderson connected on his seventh field goal of the season to put NWU up 10-7.
Concordia tried to mount one last drive and got near midfield but the stingy Prairie Wolves rose to the challenge again. Russell Walton sacked the Concordia quarterback on fourth down to seal the victory.
Walton had a huge game for the Prairie Wolves recording 11 total tackles with 2.0 quarterback sacks and a pass breakup. Brett Kaczor also had 11 tackles for NWU as they held Concordia to 230 yards of total offense.
Meanwhile, the NWU offense had a hard time moving the football gaining just 164 yards of total offense. A week after rushing for 257 yards, the NWU ground game was held to 48 yards on 38 carries.
Myers 11-18 for 116 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Jordan Delbaugh caught four passes for 27 yards, while Joe Manley had three grabs for 57. Dustin Bryant led the way on the ground with 24 yards.
Vandbenberg tied the GPAC record with 12 punts in the game, averaging 39.5 yards per kick pinning Concordia inside the 20 four times with a long of 65.
NWU will go for three straight next Saturday (Oct. 29) when they host Briar Cliff University.