Zach Egger missed a 52-yard field goal with 1:13 to play as Briar Cliff held off Nebraska Wesleyan for an 8-7 victory in Great Plains Athletic Conference football action on Senior Day Saturday (Nov. 14) at Abel Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.
NWU finishes the 2009 season with a 5-5 record while Briar Cliff finishes 4-7 and picks up their first ever win over Nebraska Wesleyan in football.
The Nebraska Wesleyan defense held Briar Cliff out of the end zone and limited the Chargers to just 173 yards of total offense, but it wasn’t enough as the NWU offense also struggled to move the ball and put points on the board.
BCU led 8-0 at the half as Josh McKean hit 25 and 27 yard field goals, and the Chargers got two points on a safety as the NWU long snapper sent a punt snap through the end zone.
Matt Hagge put NWU on the board in the fourth quarter as he broke free on a 23-yard option run to get the Prairie Wolves within two at 8-6. NWU elected to go for just one point, instead of the 2-point conversion, to make the score 8-7.
NWU had its chances in the fourth quarter to take the lead, but couldn’t convert. The Prairie Wolves took over at the BCU 39-yard line with 4:49 to play after a 16-yard punt return by Mike Millard. Steve Fricke ran eight yards down to the 31-yard line, but on the next play Hagge tried to throw to Millard in the endzone on a fade route and the ball was intercepted.
After forcing the Chargers to punt again, NWU took over at the BCU 45-yard line. Hagge then converted a third down pass to Millard to get the ball to the 38 yard line. NWU ran the ball to set up the game-winning field goal. The snap was bobbled so timing was off as Egger missed his second field goal of the game.
The Prairie Wolves finished with 238 yards of total offense, 162 on the ground. Steve Fricke filled in for Kory Kahlandt and had 68 yards on 14 carries, while Morgan Haupt added 40 yards. It was the passing game that struggled for NWU, as Hagge finished 7-27 for 76 yards with three interceptions.
Briar Cliff managed just 53 yards rushing as the NWU defense held BCU to 1.6 yards per carry. Lehi Tonga was 12-24 for 120 yards passing with an interception for the Chargers. BCU was 0-14 on 3rd-down conversions, but did convert one fourth down.
Josh Kendle had 11 total tackles to lead NWU and Cameron Kolling had 2.0 tackles-for-loss. Tony Terp recorded an interception in his final game.