Offensive line, passing attack help Tigers rout ConcordiaDakota Wesleyan coach Brad Pole couldn’t be happier with his battered, busted up offensive line.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
Dakota Wesleyan coach Brad Pole couldn’t be happier with his battered, busted up offensive line.
The Tigers put up 393 yards of offense and defeated Concordia University 41-17 Saturday at Joe Quintal Stadium, and Pole said one of the main highlights was the play from his mess of an offensive line.
“They’re just beat up right now,” Pole said after the Great Plains Athletic Conference matchup. “It’s terrible. We got almost 400 yards of offense against a pretty good defensive front. I’m just really proud of the offensive line right now.”
The Tigers started two freshmen Saturday afternoon against the Bulldogs, but when senior left guard Mario Palencia left during the third quarter because of an injury, Dustin Maier was the third freshman to block for quarterback Jon Bane. Besides the three freshmen, sophomore Jake Verry played on a sprained ankle and junior Kevin Calsbeek has a cast on his arm and played with a broken hand.
Freshman Spencer Bloch, a Scotland native, started in place of junior Nate Little at tackle and Kyle Hencke started at center.
Between the six offensive lineman who saw most of the playing time Saturday, no one gave up a sack and Bane had plenty of time to find receivers Euedell Clayton and Anthony Muilenburg in the passing attack.
Clayton caught his first career touchdown for Dakota Wesleyan and hauled in seven passes for 107 yards. Muilenburg also had seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown, his fourth of the season.
Bane, who Pole said was vomiting from a stomach flu the morning of the game, threw for 266 yards on 20-of-33 passing.
“All week coach has been telling us that we’ve got some (offensive lineman) down and that we had to take advantage of our opportunities,” said Clayton, a 6-foot-1 senior from Los Angeles. “That’s what we tried to do, just put everything out there and take advantage of the opportunities.”
Clayton’s touchdown came with one minute, 21 seconds left in the first half to give the Tigers a 24-10 lead. Bane scrambled and found Clayton in the back of the end zone for an 18-yard strike on second-and-10. The score was a part of a 27-point second quarter for the Tigers.
“What a day he had,” Pole said of Clayton. “He came to play.”
DWU tied the game at 3 with a Leif Evers 25-yard field goal to open the second quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, the Tigers’ Arthur Brown picked up a fumbled caused by Cantrell Richardson and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown and give the Tigers a 10-3 lead. The Bulldogs fumbled on their next play from scrimmage, and the ball was recovered by DWU freshman linebacker Jeff Maassen.
Two plays later, Josh Endres sprinted into the end zone on an 11-yard run to give the Tigers a 14-point lead.
Concordia’s lone touchdown of the first half came with 8:24 left in the second quarter on a 16-yard run by Ryan Adams, who had 15 carries for 62 yards.
But Bane hit Clayton to extend the lead, and Evers kicked a 45-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give the Tigers a 27-10 halftime advantage.
“They capitalized on our mistakes,” Concordia coach Vance Winter said. “Turnovers early, that was the difference right there.”
Endres had a 5-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter and Muilenburg caught a 37-yard pass on the Tigers’ next drive to spike the lead to 41-10.
Endres finished with 27 carries for 78 yards and two touchdowns. His longest run of the day was 11 yards, the touchdown in the second quarter.
Concordia added the final points of the game with less than a minute to go in the game. A 12-play, 80-yard drive ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass with 52.9 seconds on the clock.
After DWU recovered an onside kick, it moved to 2-0 for the second straight season. Through two games, the Tigers have scored 97 points have recorded 886 yards of offense.
“I definitely seen this happening,” Clayton said of the team’s fast offensive start. “I think we can win a lot of games if we continue to throw the ball and spread it out and get it in guys’ hands that can make plays.”
NOTES: DWU punter/tight end Derek Carlson left the game twice because of cramping in his legs. Pole said he does not have a serious injury. … Aaron Rolen had 2.5 sacks and Mike Barnaud had 11 tackles — 2.5 for a loss — and 1.5 sacks to lead DWU’s defense. … Concordia quarterback Cohl Tufford led the team in rushing with 19 carries and he finished with 40 yards on the ground. He was 10-of-23 passing for 97 yards with one touchdown. … Pole said Bane took a shot to the ribs on the game’s first third down, but the sophomore quarterback remained in game. “He’ll be feeling it later,” Pole said. … Freshman quarterback Joey Olsen took snaps late in the fourth quarter. Pole said Olsen is now the team’s full-time backup after junior transfer Kyle Cool is getting a medical redshirt this season.
C: Kenny Zoeller 35 field goal
DWU: Leif Evers 25 field goal
DWU: Arthur Brown 14 fumble recovery (Evers kick)
DWU: Josh Endres 11 run (Evers kick)
C: Ryan Adams 16 run (Zoeller kick)
DWU: Euedell Clayton 18 pass from Bane (Evers kick)
DWU: Evers 45 field goal
DWU: Endres 5 run (Evers kick)
DWU: Anthony Muilenburg 37 pass from Bane (Evers kick)
C: Colten Quinabo 14 pass from Cohl Tufford (Zoeller kick)