The University of Dubuque offense was every bit as how-powered as they were hyped up to be, as the Spartans hung a painful 56-28 loss on the Central College football team Saturday afternoon.
The Spartans drove 83 yards on their opening drive, which included six receptions and a touchdown by All-American wide receiver Michael Zwiefel, and it looked as though it would be a long afternoon for the Dutch.
Central answered the call, though, putting together their own 65 yard drive that ended in a Ross Doerhmann score, and tied the game at 7-7. Dubuque came right back, with quarterback Wyatt Hanus throwing touchdown passes on their next two possessions to take a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.
The offenses continued to put on a remarkable first half, and after each team added one more score apiece, Central quarterback Nate Snead would connect with a wide open Ben Lechtenberg for a 76-yard touchdown strike. The Dutch defense then came up with a big stop that forced the Spartans into a meek punt that gave Central the football near midfield, trailing 28-21.
It looked as though the Dutch would be able to catch the Spartans, but a deflected pass by Snead landed in the arms of defensive lineman Marice Hill, who rumbled untouched into the end zone for a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown. Dubuque would hold on for a 35-21 halftime lead and never feel threatened again, adding two more passing touchdowns in the third quarter and a rushing score in the fourth, before Doerhmann was able to dive across the goal line late in the game to pull the final gap to 28 points.
Central would finish the day with a perfectly acceptable 404 yards of total offense, led by 119 yard rushing by Nate Snead, who also threw for 145 yards, a touchdown, and the game-changing interception. Those numbers looked feeble, though, compared to the offensive showcase Dubuque put on, which included 550 yards of total offense – 418 of which came through the air.
Spartan quarterback Wyatt Hanus was a mind-blowing 33-of-45 with six touchdowns and no interceptions, while Michael Zweifel hauled in a jaw-dropping 16 catches for 232 yards and three touchdowns.
The loss drops Central to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Iowa Conference, entering a huge Homecoming contest against Coe College next Saturday. The Kohawks staged a second-half comeback to knock off No. 10 Wartburg on Saturday.