/seasons/2011/contrib/20110905f57t6a

Second Half Propels Knights to Victory

More news about: Wartburg

Box Score
MONMOUTH, Ill.—The No. 15 Wartburg College football team used a 21-point second half scoring effort to win its season opener 35-28 against non-conference opponent Monmouth College. The Knights received the No. 15 spot in the d3football.com's preseason poll. This marks the fifth straight victory for the Orange and Black between these two teams.

The game also featured a three-hour rain delay as Mother Nature disrupted many games around the country today. "In my 131 games as head coach, I have never been involved in a three-hour rain delay," said head coach Rick Willis. "I was concerned about our players' safety as it was hot out here in the first half and didn't want our players to tighten up while waiting out the delay. The players were checked on by the athletic training staff and did their best to stay loose while awaiting the all-clear call.

"Our team's conditioning won out as we came out ready to go after the break," continued Willis. "It was a good game to start the season's tempo with as we saw cramps due to the hot weather, turnovers and the weather delay. Our team found a way and that's one of the most important traits."

Wartburg was the first team to strike as junior Garrett McGrane (Fairbanks) intercepted a pass attempt by Alex Tanney and returned it 36 yards to take the 6-0 lead under three minutes into the game. Senior Marcus Williams' (Council Bluffs) extra point attempt was good to make the score 7-0 in favor of the Knights.

The Fighting Scots knotted the score two minutes later as Mike Blodgett had a 10-yard touchdown pass and Matt Batton's point-after kick was good.

The Knights answered back on their next drive as senior Dan Stiefel (Sterling Heights, Mich.) scored on a one-yard rush and Williams made his second kick of the game to regain the 14-7 lead.

Monmouth rallied once more in the quarter as Nick Law had a 20-yard run and Batton made his second extra point kick of the day to even the score at 14-14.

The Fighting Scots took a three-point lead with six minutes left in the second quarter as Batton made a 26-yard field goal.

Batton would add to Monmouth's lead four minutes later on a 29-yard field goal to take the 20-14 lead at halftime.

The Orange and Black started the third quarter in a big way as they scored on their first possession as sophomore Alce Smith (Plainfield, Ill.) had his first collegiate reception, an 81-yard touchdown reception, to tie the score once more and regained the lead at 21-20 on William's kick.

Coach Willis saw this reception as the point where the momentum shifted for Wartburg. "On the Smith touchdown reception, this is where the momentum changed for us," he commented. "We were down by six at halftime today, but we were down 14 at halftime the last time we were here in 2008. Today we learned we have toughness, both physical and emotional. There are no more important traits than those and we learned we can fight for the game."

The Fighting Scots looked to reclaim the lead on a later drive, but Batton missed his 44-yard field goal attempt.

The Knights increased their margin later in the quarter on a rushing touchdown by junior Brandon Sims (South Holland, Ill.) to take the 28-20 lead with :46 remaining in the frame.

Monmouth had just recovered a Wartburg fumble when it began to hail and the game was stopped for a three-hour delay due to lightning in the area.

Once play resumed, the Fighting Scots were unable to capitalize on the turnover to give the Knights the ball with 6:27 remaining.

Junior Connor Dahlstrom (Eldridge) gave Wartburg six more points with his 17-yard rush. Williams made his fifth extra point kick of the game to make the score 35-20 in favor of the Orange and Black.

Monmouth had one more drive as they had possession with 1:36 left on the clock. Tanney completed an 11-yard pass to Austin Peterson and successfully completed a two-point conversion to make the score 35-28 with 19 seconds remaining.

The Fighting Scots attempted to recover their on-side kick attempt but were unsuccessful as Wartburg recovered the ball.  

Stiefel finished with 281 passing yards and had one of the Knights' three rushing touchdowns. Senior Levi Helbling (Malvern) led the receiver group with 137 yards.

Junior Jason Shupp (Cedar Rapids) led defense with nine tackles, including three tackles for loss. He had six solo tackles and two sacks. McGrane finished with seven tackles and the interception return. Senior Logan Hansen (Glenville, Minn.) and Matt Tschetter (Milford) also were each credited for a sack on the day.

Wartburg returns to action next week in its home opener against non-conference opponent, Gustavus Adolphus, under the lights at 7 p.m.

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
Video Box Score
Final
at Dean 25, Becker 10
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
Box Score
Final
MIT 38, at Catholic 21
Video Box Score
Final
Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
Video Box Score
Final
at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Albright 9, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
Video Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
Video Box Score
Final
Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Williams 24, at Colby 7
Video Box Score
Final
Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
Video Box Score
Final
Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
Video Video Box Score Photos
Final
Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
Video Box Score
Final
Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Union 17, at Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Lycoming 44, at King's 41
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Western New England 21, Husson 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
Video
Final
at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
Video Box Score
Final
Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
Video Video Box Score
Final - OT
at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
Video Video Preview Box Score
Final
at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Eureka 44, Crown 20
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
Box Score
Final
at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
Video Box Score
Final
Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
Video Box Score
Final
at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
Video Video Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
Video Box Score
Final
at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
Video Preview Box Score Live stats
Final
at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
Video Box Score
Final
Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
Video Box Score
Final
at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Simpson 38, at Coe 33
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Knox 13, Ripon 6
Video Box Score
Final
at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
Box Score
Final
Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
Video Box Score
Final
Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
Video Box Score
Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Springfield 42, WPI 10
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
Video Box Score
Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
Video Box Score
Final - OT
at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
Video Preview Box Score Photos
Final
at Averett 35, Methodist 6
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 28, Centre 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
Video
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
Final - OT
at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
Video Preview Box Score Photos
Final
Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
Box Score Recap
Final
Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
Video Box Score
Sep. 28: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Shenandoah at Randolph-Macon
Video Preview Live stats Audio
Sep. 29: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Delaware Valley at FDU-Florham
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
Recap Recap Video Box Score
Final
Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
Video Box Score
Final
at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
Video Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
Video
Final
at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
Video Box Score Recap
Sep. 29: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Delaware Valley at FDU-Florham