WAVERLY, Iowa—The 13th-ranked Wartburg College football team moved to 3-0 on the year and 1-0 in Iowa Conference play with its 27-7 win over Buena Vista (0-3, 0-1).
With the victory, the Knights increased their streak to six straight IIAC opener wins and moved to 8-3 in conference openers in the Walston-Hoover Stadium era (since 2001).
Junior Garrett McGrane (Fairbank) got things started with his 45-yard interception return to give the Orange and Black the early lead just a minute and a half into the game.
After BV went three and out in its next possession, Wartburg doubled its lead on a 19-yard touchdown reception by sophomore Alce Smith (Plainfield, Ill.).
John Hill scored the Beavers' first touchdown on a 53-yard run to make the score 14-7 in the second quarter.
Sophomore Reese Thompson (Van Horne) scored the final two touchdowns for the Knights as he would punch the ball in from one yard out in the third quarter and two yards out in the fourth quarter.
The Orange and Black's defense blocked a 21-yard field goal attempt on BV's first possession in the third quarter.
Thompson led the team on the ground with 22 carries for 74 yards and junior Connor Dahlstrom (Eldridge) had 11 carries for 40 yards.
Senior quarterback Dan Stiefel (Sterling Heights, Mich.) was 16 of 30 through the air for 205 yards. This moved the streak to 45 consecutive games that a Knights playcaller has thrown for triple digits.
Smith led the receivers group with six catches for 98 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore Logan Ruffridge (Cedar Rapids) also had six receptions for 55 yards.
Junior linebacker Jason Shupp (Cedar Rapids) and McGrane co-led the defense with seven solo blocks on the day. Shupp was also credited with seven tackle assists to have a team–best 10.5 tackles in the game.
Sophomore Ben Bentil (Milwaukee, Wis.) had one sack and had 2.5 tackles for a loss of seven total yards. Classmate Ryan Billings (Sterling, Ill.) also had 2.5 tackles for a loss of eight total yards.
Junior Riley Anderson (Dubuque) was credited for a team-best five pass breakups.
Wartburg concludes its three-game homestand next Saturday when it hosts Iowa Conference opponent Coe at 1 p.m.