JAMESTOWN, N.D.-The Dakota Wesleyan University football team has had a rough go of it the last six weeks.
The Tigers dropped six games in a row, with three coming by seven points or less and the offense only scored more than 14 points once during that stretch.
On Saturday, DWU put an end to the drought, scoring 21 points in the second quarter as part of a 41-21 rout of Jamestown University to earn its first Great Plains Athletic Conference win of the season.
"We still have a lot to prove as a team in terms of what we're capable of achieving and accomplishing and we haven't been able to do that lately," DWU head coach Ross Cimpl said. "So our guys came out and started executing right away-defensively getting stops and offensively putting points on the board. We had a couple slow periods in there, but overall one of our better games."
DWU has a few established playmakers on offense and the Tigers made a point of getting them involved early and often, while getting them the ball in a variety of ways.
Mitchell native Spencer Neugebauer was featured in multiple roles. The sophomore wide receiver caught three passes for 115 yards and a touchdown, but also took direct snaps as the quarterback in a wildcat formation. Neugebauer ran in from three yards out DWU's first touchdown of the game and also completed a pass for nine yards.
Meanwhile, Canova native Luke Loudenburg exploded for a season-high 154 yards and two touchdowns on 30 attempts. Daniel Libolt also got in on the action, taking two of his three receptions to the end zone.
"Those guys are tremendous football players and we're able to see the results," Cimpl said. "(They are) guys that can make plays and we have to get those guys the football. I thought offensively we did a real good job of distributing the football. When you have a running back that has 30 carries and 150 yards, they don't do it on their own and I thought our offensive line did a great job."
Not only was the DWU offense effective, but it was efficient. The Tigers were turnover-free for the first time since Sept. 9, 2017, also against Jamestown.
Quarterback Shaye Slaughter completed 10 of 18 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns, while running for 177 yards on four yards per carry as a team. DWU also completed five of its 11 third down attempts and went 4-for-5 in the red zone.
"We've struggled a little a bit in critical situations, and I thought today, we were able to convert on third down, and instead of field goals, we were getting touchdowns," Cimpl said. "That's what our offense is capable of, that's what our players are capable of and it's great to see us execute those things."
While the offense exploded, the defense also held up its end of the bargain. The statistics show Jamestown out-gained DWU 422-391, but the Tigers set up residence in the Jimmies' backfield all afternoon.
Not only did DWU make 18 tackles for a loss, but came up with 11 sacks in the game-highlighted by 2.5 apiece from Lukas Chase and Alan Murtic-and held Jamestown to just 69 yards rushing and 1.5 yards per carry.
"They had a couple big plays, but overall, we were pretty consistent on the day," Cimpl said. "...We had to bend a little bit, but we never did break, especially in the first three quarters, which is what you have to be able to do."
Dakota Wesleyan (2-7, 1-6 GPAC) hosts Doane on Saturday at Joe Quintal Field.