DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque football team played a nearly flawless contest on Saturday afternoon en route to a spotless 4-0 overall and 2-0 Iowa Conference record with the 56-28 victory over the visiting Central College Dutch on Chalmers Field. It was Centrals first loss to the Spartans since 1987 and the most points the Dutch have yielded since a 61-6 defeat against St. Ambrose in 1951. Dubuques 550 yards of total offense were the most ever allowed by Central, eclipsing the 537 gained by Wartburg in 2003. UD's 4-0 start is it's first since 1979 when the Spartans finished the regular season a perfect 9-0 before losing to Ithaca College in NCAA Division III Playoffs.
A couple of mistakes by the Dutch in the first half opened the door for the Spartans and they steamrolled to 35 points in the opening half. UD never trailed in the game after taking the opening kick-off 83 yards on 11 plays for the score, a 19 yard touchdown pass from Wyatt Hanus to Michael Zweifel. Central responded on a 14 yard Ross Doehrmann touchdown run which capped an 11 play 65 yard series.
It appeared as it was going to be an offensive shootout after the next series UD scored on a Hanus pass to Miles Hookstead from two yards for the go ahead score 14-7. A turnover by the Dutch gave the Spartans the ball from 42 yards out. Hanus once again found the open man in the end zone, Demacus Fleming on a two yard pass to stretch the Spartan lead 21-7. Offensive powerhouse Nate Snead scored for the Dutch on a 10 yard run to narrow the Spartans lead 21-14. Zweifel found himself open and scampered in from 30 yards to give UD a 14 point lead at 8:22 of the second quarter.
Snead fought back for the Dutch and found Ben Lechtenberg open who outran the Spartan defenders for a 76 yard touchdown to cut the UD lead to 28-21 with seven minutes left of the half. UD's defense pressured Snead and he made a mistake and Marice Hill capitalized and intercepted the pass and returned it 44 yards for a Spartan touchdown and a 14 point lead with a 35-21 halftime score.
The second half was all Spartans, with UD scoring three times in under 11 minutes of possession to put the contest out of reach before the Dutch added a score with time running down in the final seconds of the Iowa Conference tilt.
Hanus finished with six touchdowns, tying a school record in the process. He matched six TD performances by Paul Krause (1965) and Shawn Tate (1996) for the Spartan record books. He completed 33-45 passes for 418 yards. Zweifel had 13 catches in the first half and finished with a game leading 16 for 232 yards. Fleming ended the day with 10 catches for 129 yards. Kyle Acker led UD in rushing with 18 carries for 111 yards. Defensively Trevor Runkle led the Spartans with 11 tackles trailed closely by Trevor Kinnett who had nine in the victory.
The Spartans finished with 28 first downs, converted on 5-7 chances in the red zone, and led in possession time 34:05 to Central's 25:55.
"It was exciting to see how well our team played today," commented coach Stan Zweifel. "Defensively we made great adjustments and I believed we played more physical than Central. What we did today, it appears we are a good football team. It was a great win for our program and it's nice to be 4-0 this season."
UD returns to the road next week when they travel to Indianola to face the Simpson College Storm at 4:00 p.m. Simpson (1-3 overall, 1-1 in IIAC) won Saturday, beating the Loras Duhawks 21-3. The Spartans return home on Oct. 8 Vs. Wartburg for the 2011 homecoming game, beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Chalmers Field.