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Dakota Wesleyan rallies past Doane 31-20

The Dakota Wesleyan University football team scored 17 fourth-quarter points to come back for a 31-20 win over No. 20 Doane College Saturday in Crete, Neb.

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The Tigers defeated Doane last season when Doane was ranked in the same 20th spot 28-24 in Mitchell.

“We really believed that we were going to win the ball game,” DWU coach Ross Cimpl said. “I think we wore them down with the running game and did a better job of getting off the field on defense.”

DWU (4-2, 3-1 GPAC) trailed by six heading into the final quarter and star running back Francois Barnaud exited the game with an injury.

Barnaud suffered a bad bruise to his stomach that caused tightening in his muscles making movement painful for the nation’s leading rusher.

Cimpl said he expects Barnaud to be ready for Saturday’s matchup with top-ranked Morningside. He will be evaluated early this week.

Quarterback Jon Bane stepped up and threw two of his three touchdowns in the final 15 minutes to secure the win over Doane (3-3, 3-2 GPAC) for DWU’s third Great Plains Athletic Conference win of the season.

Bane finished with 187 yards on 18-of-29 passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

After a quiet game last week against Dakota State, wide receiver Anthony Muilenburg reemerged with 10 receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

“Doane took the deep ball away and (Muilenburg) had a lot of underneath catches, but towards the end of the game we were able to get one over the top,” Cimpl said.

Before leaving the game, Barnaud added to his nation-leading rushing totals. The Belle Fourche native carried 24 times for 149 yards and scored the first DWU touchdown. Barnaud eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in just his sixth game. He has 1,136 yards on 167 carries for a 6.8 average per carry.

After taking the lead late, DWU was able to grind out the clock on the legs of backup running back Xavier Armijo, who carried the ball 11 times for 68 yards.

“Our offensive line and offensive staff did a fantastic job and the backs did great with their reads,” Cimpl said about his team in the fourth quarter.

Josh Fiedler recorded a team-high eight tackles for DWU, while Brady Bonte added six tackles.

DWU coach Ross Cimpl dialed up a trick play to get his team going in the second half. On fourth-and-one during the opening drive of the second half, DWU punter Dan Porter took the snap and sprinted up the middle for 14 yards and a first down to keep the drive.

Muilenburg would catch his first touchdown pass later on the drive to pull DWU into a tie early in the third quarter.

Doane rolled up 266 rushing yards on DWU with a committee of running backs carrying the load. Nate Meier carried 14 times for 94 yards, while Kenneth Boggs added 56 yards and Clayton Moore had 52.

Doane’s passing game never got moving against DWU, as Phil Thramer and Phil Hamburger split time under center combing for just 134 yards through the air, with one touchdown and one interception.

The win moves DWU into third place in the GPAC, just one game back of Morningside and Concordia (Neb).

DWU returns home for a tough test against No. 1-ranked Morningside at 1 p.m. at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell.

Dakota Wesleyan 7 0 7 17 – 31

Doane College……7 7 6 0 — 20

First Quarter:

DOA: Phil Hamburger 3 pass to Kellen Unvert (kick good)

DWU: Francois Barnaud 1 run (kick good)

Second Quarter:

DOA: Nate Meier 13 run (kick good)

Third Quarter:

DWU: Jon Bane 4 pass to Anthony Muilenburg (kick good)

DOA: Meier 33 run (kick missed)

Fourth Quarter:

DWU: Bane 51 pass to Muilenburg (kick good)

DWU: Bane 15 pass to Alex Robertson (kick good)

DWU: Dan Porter 30 field goal

RUSHING: DWU: Barnaud 24-149, Xavier Armijo 11-68, Dan Porter, 1-14, Arthur Brown 2-8; DOA: Meier 14-94, Kenneth Boggs 11-56, Clayton Moore 11-52, Hamburger 8-49, Phil Thramer 4-12.

PASSING: DWU: Bane 18-29-2-187; DOA: Thramer 4-20-1-65, Hamburger 5-10-0-69.

RECEIVING: DWU: Muilenburg 10-137, Robertson 2-21, Barnaud 2-4, Kodi Larson 1-8, Dustin Livingston 1-7, Micheal Brown 1-6, Arthur Brown 1-4; DOA: Unvert 3-58, Jacob Cornelius 1-13, Nolan Kawata 1-12, Clayton Moore 1-12, Mitch Marvin 1-11, Corey Kalkwarf 1-11, Sam Newmyer 1-8.

DEFENSE: Josh Fiedler eight tackles, Brady Bonte six tackles and one sack, Jared Van Winkle one interception; DOA: Keli’I Jackson eight tackles, Jeremy Wallace six tackles and one sack, Alex Thatch one interception, Justin Malleck one interception.