Spartans Football Win Battle with Norse 16-14

Oct 3, 2015


DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque football team was looking to keep their win streak alive on Saturday against the Luther College Norse. After a bye week, the Spartans returned home to the friendly confines of Chalmers Field and provided the fans in attendance an exciting Iowa Conference opener. 

The Norse arrived in Dubuque with an offense which caused the Spartans defense fits a year ago in Decorah. The Norse pound the ground game and force you to make plays while stopping the run game. Quarterback scrambles and options to pitch took the hosts Spartans a bit to catch, but once they did, UD's defense displayed what they are capable of. Returning to the defensive line-up was Blaine Snitker (SR., LB, Waukon, Iowa/Waukon HS) who sat out the openng three games with an injury. He returned to lead all defense with 18 tackles. He joined Trevor Stauner (Sr., LB, Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee HS) and Dylan Hastings (Jr., LB, Lena, Ill./Lena-Winslow HS) who finished the day with 15 and 13 tackles respectively.

The two teams were exact opposites with their offenses. UD finished the afternoon with 227 yards passing while Luther finished with just 25 yards. Luther fought for 231 yards on the ground while the Spartans finished with 52 yards. Luther held a slim edge in first downs 17-16, but held the possession for over 37 minutes while the quick scoring Spartans had the ball for just over 22 minutes in the victory.

Rio Johnson (Jr., QB, Atlanta, Ga./Sandy Creek HS) completed 16-28 pass attempts for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Jonathan Duarte (Jr., WR, Lyons, Ill./Morton West HS) snatched three passes for 69 yards and a touchdown and Trenton Grana-Curry (So., TE, Beach Park, Ill./Sion-Benton HS) hauled in three catches for 60 yards and the Spartans first touchdown of the afternoon. 

On special teams, Connor O'Malley (Fr., DB/P, Pewaukee, Wis./Pewaukee HS) punted four times for 137 yards with his longest of the day being a 56 yard punt in the second half pinning the Norse deep.

The Spartans 2-2 overall, 1-0 in IIAC will face the Simpson College Storm (2-2 overall, 1-0 in IIAC) next Saturday in Indianola with kick-off slated for 1:00 p.m. The Storm beat the Buena Vista University Beavers by  43-13 margin and finished with nearly 400 yards of offense on Saturday.