PELLA--The game was ended by lightning but not before the
Central College football team delivered some thunder of its own in
a resounding 34-8 victory over the Univ. of Dubuque Saturday.
The Iowa Conference opener was halted with 8:20 remaining in the fourth quarter because of lightning. After a 76-minute delay, the game was called. Central (3-0 overall, 1-0 conference) yielded some yardage but few points against a highly touted Dubuque offense, limiting the Spartans to two field goals and a safety that came on an errant punt snap. The Dutch held a 329-238 yard advantage in total offense as sophomore running back Ross Doehrmann broke loose for a career-high 131 yards on 21 carries with one touchdown.
"I thought our defense played great," coach Jeff McMartin said. "The strength of Dubuque right now is their offense. They are very, very talented. They've got a lot of great skill players and a good line. Our defense needed to step up and I thought they did a great job."
Dubuque quarterback Wyatt Hanus completed 17 of 32 passes for 195 yards but the Spartans (1-2 overall, 0-1 conference) were held to just 43 yards rushing. Central is allowing just 33.3 yards rushing per game through three games.
limited them in the running game, which was a big key to our success," McMartin
Doehrmann rushed for 72 yards on nine first-quarter carries.
"He had a
McMartin said. "He found
some holes and made some great runs. I'm very happy for
Ross. He's put
in a lot of work to get to this point."
But he had help.
"I want to credit our offensive line and our receivers," McMartin said. "I thought our receivers made some great downfield blocks."
Quarterback Nate Snead completed nine of 14 passes for 115 yards while rushing for 79 yards on 14 carries, scoring touchdowns on runs of 15 and 4 yards. The game was tight throughout the first half. Doehrmann's 1-yard plunge on the first play of the second quarter made it 14-3, but on Central's next drive, a snap on a punt attempt sailed out of the end zone for a safety. Dubuque took the ensuing kick 55 yards to set up a 20-yard field goal to make it 14-8.
Central added the first of two Jake Viggers field goals, a 35-yarder with 29 seconds left in the first half for a 17-8 lead at intermission. But a 22-yard Viggers boot and a 4-yard Snead TD run in the third quarter broke it open.
Then linebacker Patrick Kelley scooped up a fumble on a punt return, racing 50 yards to the Dubuque 1-yard line. Quarterback Zack Bandow scored from there. Lightning struck seconds later, sending fans out of the stadium and the teams off the field.
A pivotal conference game awaits the Dutch next, taking on No. 10-ranked Coe College next Saturday in Cedar Rapids. The Kohawks (3-0) trounced Luther 42-19 at Decorah Saturday.