Doane completes second-half comeback to swipe win from DWU football

DWU outgained Doane 417 yards to 193, but was undone by three lost fumbles (two in the second half) as Doane came back from a 10-0 halftime deficit.

Dakota Wesleyan University football (Republic file photo)
We are part of The Trust Project.

CRETE, Neb. — In search of its first win of 2022, the Dakota Wesleyan football team built a 10-point halftime lead on the road, only to see it slip away in the second half.

Cruz Kirwan’s 52-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Joaquin Gutierrez gave Doane, which scored all its points after halftime, its first lead of the game and proved to be the game-winning score, as DWU fell 16-13.

DWU went ahead 7-0 late in the first quarter on an 11-yard touchdown run by Jamin Arend that punctuated a 10-play, 80-yard drive. Later in the second quarter, DWU was repelled on three straight goal-to-go plays from the 1-yard line and settled for an 18-yard Jaxon Patrick field goal.

Doane breached the scoreboard with a 45-yard field goal by Kelen Meyer on the first possession of the second half, which was answer by Patrick’s second successful try of the day from 34 yards out.

But that’s when Doane seized momentum. Jeremiah Payne took the ensuing kickoff back 91 yards for a touchdown.


Before the quarter had expired, DWU was driving in Doane territory when a fumble halted the advance. Doane took over and, on the second play of the fourth quarter, Kirwan connected with Gutierrez for the game’s final score.

For the game, DWU outgained Doane 417 yards to 193, but three lost fumbles, two in the second, the last of which came in the red zone on the final drive.

In the passing game, Austin Lee and Connor Drake combined to go 18-of-29 with 246 yards, as Kiel Nelson was the leading receiver with five receptions for 80 yards. On the ground, Arend carried 29 times for 133 yards and the early touchdown.

For Doane (3-2, 3-2 GPAC), Kirwan was 5-for-11 passing for 92 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Adam Wasserman had 12 rushes for 73 yards.

DWU (0-7, 0-6 GPAC) returns home for a matchup with Briar Cliff at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at Joe Quintal Field.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "Mitchell Republic." Often, the "Mitchell Republic" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
What To Read Next
Members Only
Sizing up the GPAC playoff picture with four games to go in the season
Three classes maintained identical top fives compared to last week, as only one new team entered the rankings across all six classes.
On Friday, the Marlins were defeated by Rushmore, which has not lost in regulation yet this season and is the No. 2 team in the state standings.
Prep basketball action from around the state from Saturday, Feb. 4.