DUBUQUE, Iowa — The University of Dubuque Spartan football
team has been waiting for this night to come since they finished
last season with a road victory in Storm Lake. A higher power had
other ideas and kept the Spartans and the visiting Rockford College
Regents waiting in anticipation of the 2010 football season to
begin on Thursday.
A typical midwest storm blew in just as pre-game countdown was about to start while lightning and thunder in the area forced a half hour delay. Once the game kicked-off, UD would turn to their pre-season All-American in Michael Zweifel who finished the night with 12 catches and 162 yards in receiving. The big question entering the game was the battle for starting quarterback position and it would be filled by sophomore Wyatt Hanus. Despite not starting a collegiate contest, Hanus found his targets scattered around the field and finished by completing a 20-27 attempt night for 311 yards and helping UD to a decisive 41-7 victory.
The Spartans receiving corps would finish under the lights with three receptions to three receivers with Zweifel's longest being from 44 yards, DeMacus Fleming from 55 yards and Miles Hookstead from 54 yards. Five receivers caught passes as the running game had 113 net yards and led by Justin Spaulding who rushed 16 times for 66 yards.
Leonard Brady Jr. dropped a punt return early, but bounced back and ran a punt return in for a touchdown from 73 yards. It was a night of big plays for the Spartans as punter Aaron Laskowski airmailed his first attempt of the night for 61 yards. Steve Jones stepped in to help a lackluster kicking game and on kick-offs averaged 57 yards in seven attempts. UD could easily have finished the night with over 500 yards of offense if the Spartans key penalties had not taken away at least three more long plays.
Defensively the Spartans were led by Toney Bailey III who finished with 11 tackles. Stephen Vassalotti finished with three tackles for losses of eight yards and one sack for a loss of five yards. Ryan Stodden had seven tackles in the victory. UD ended with seven tackles for losses of 18 yards.
The Spartans debuted a spectacular live video and replay on the jumbo sized Daktronics scoreboard to the delight of the many fans in attendance. This year also marked the debut of video streaming online for fans across the world via a fully customized, Flash-based media player; real-time access to listener and viewer.
UD will be on the road the next two weekends, meeting UW-Platteville next week at 7:00 p.m. before hopping a bus and riding to Pella to face top-ranked Central College on Sept. 18.