November 6, 2010

Knights earn automatic playoff bid, share of league title

More news about: Wartburg

PELLA – Wartburg College head coach Rick Willis was thinking a total team win after his No. 13-ranked Knights toppled Central 20-17 Nov. 6.

And, with good reason.

"The final drive (11 plays – 85 yards) showed the character of this team," Willis said. "Our staff kept telling the team that we needed to work through our opportunities at halftime. The guys hung together for a big win."

The Orange and Black received big plays from all sections during the victory. Special teams figured in, as Wartburg took advantage of a blocked punt from sophomore Garret McGrane and a blocked field goal from sophomore D.J. Looft of Armstrong. McGrane's blocked punt set up a second quarter touchdown run from sophomore running back Reese Thompson of Van Horne, while Looft's blocked field goal, of a 47-yard attempt by the Dutch's Jake Viggers, preserved the three-point win in the waning moments.

The defense came in big. Junior defensive end Matt Tschetter of Milford had a fumble return that led the Knights' first touchdown, a seven-yard run by junior quarterback Danny Stiefel of Sterling Heights, Mich., while the "D" added four sacks of Central quarterback Nate Snead. Wartburg held the Dutch offense to 275 total yards.

Wartburg's offense, despite being limited to 245 yards, still managed to find the end zone three times. Along Steifel and Thompson's rushing scores, Thompson turned in the game-winning score on a five-yard run with 2:41 left. His two scores and 86 yards led the ground attack. Stiefel upped the Knights' current string of 100-yards-or-more passing games to 41 with 127 through the air. Junior wide receiver Levi Helbling of Malvern was the top receiver with seven receptions for 82 yards.

"The final drive (11 plays – 85 yards) showed the character of this team," Willis said. "At halftime, our staff kept telling the team that we needed to work through our opportunities. The guys hung together for a big win.

"I've got to credit our entire staff (for this)," he added. "Our assistants do so many things behind the scenes, and it's showed all year."

Wartburg clinched a share of its 12th title and second in the last three years and the conference's automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Division III playoffs. The title ties them with Simpson for the second-most in league history.

 "This is a tribute to what four hard years of work can do," senior center Morgan O'Connor of Fort Dodge said.

The Knights close the regular season with a 1 p.m. kickoff at Simpson College's Buxton Community Stadium in Indianola Saturday, Nov. 13. A win would give the Orange and Black its first unbeaten regular season since 2003.

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Belhaven at Millsaps
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Coast Guard
7:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
8:00 PM
Bethel at UW-Stout
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater (Va.)
7:00 PM
Averett at Washington and Lee
Live Stats
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Morrisville State
7:00 PM
MIT at WPI
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
7:00 PM
Becker at Fitchburg State
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
7:00 PM
Curry at Bridgewater State
8:30 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
TBA
Hobart at Dickinson
TBA
Norwich at RPI
TBA
Buffalo State at Otterbein
TBA
Lycoming at Susquehanna
TBA
Buena Vista at UW-Platteville
TBA
George Fox at La Verne
12:00 PM
Heidelberg at Cortland State
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
12:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Thomas More
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Alfred at Husson
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Live Stats
12:00 PM
TCNJ at Christopher Newport
12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
12:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Southwestern Assemblies
1:00 PM
William Paterson at Alfred State
1:00 PM
Alma at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Capital
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
1:00 PM
Guilford at Greensboro
1:00 PM
Earlham at Olivet
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hampden-Sydney
1:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at Wooster
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Ithaca at Union
1:00 PM
Brockport State at Oberlin
1:00 PM
John Carroll at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Hartwick
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Randolph-Macon
1:00 PM
Castleton State at Plymouth State
1:00 PM
Methodist at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Video
1:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Franklin
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bethany at Mount Union
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Bluffton at Wilmington
2:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
2:00 PM
Beloit at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Rockford at Lawrence
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Carthage at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Coe
2:00 PM
Jamestown at Concordia-Moorhead
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at Hamline
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Dubuque at St. John's
2:00 PM
Illinois College at Aurora
2:00 PM
North Park at Concordia (Wis.)
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Simpson
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Austin
2:00 PM
Southwestern at Hardin-Simmons
2:00 PM
Knox at Eureka
2:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at Robert Morris Univ. (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Ripon
2:00 PM
Louisiana College at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
3:00 PM
Pacific at College of Idaho
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Live Stats
4:30 PM
Misericordia at Utica
Live Stats Video Audio
5:00 PM
Defiance at Adrian
6:00 PM
Moravian at King's
6:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
6:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at Albion
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Rose-Hulman
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Hiram
7:00 PM
Marietta at Denison
7:00 PM
Anderson at Taylor (Ind.)
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
7:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Howard Payne
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Sul Ross State
7:00 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Augustana
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
7:30 PM
Benedictine at Central
8:00 PM
McMurry at East Texas Baptist
8:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Wartburg
8:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Crown
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Frostburg State at Geneva
Maintenance in progress.