Unblemished Conference Season for #20-ranked Spartan Football
Nov 14, 2015
Coach Stan Zweifel enjoyed a cool water bath at the end of the game after successfully completing the Iowa Conference 7-0!
DUBUQUE, Iowa - Once the University of Dubuque football team announced their 2015 schedule, many wondered if it was too strong of a non-conference schedule. Two-top ranked teams and a third which made the national tournament in 2014 proved to be the right ingredients to bring home a second Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) championship for head coach Stan Zweifel. Not deterred in the conference coaches pre-season poll which picked the Spartans fourth, the coaching staff took it as a challenge along with one of the strongest strength of schedules in Division III. Playing some of the top teams in the country proved to help show the Spartans their weaknesses early, and they have since marched off eight consecutive victories.
Saturday, at home in near ideal weather conditions for mid-November in Iowa, the Spartans capped off a season with a perfect IIAC record, 7-0, to finish the regular season with an 8-2 overall mark after beating the Central College Dutch 38-16. The last time UD finished the league without a loss was 1979. The game erupted in a flurry of scoring with the two teams combining in just over three minutes to match one another with a touchdown drive. UD scored first on a five play 68 yard in 2:22 on a Maurece "Mo" Herrion two yard run. The Dutch looked deep on their first play and found a wide open wide receiver for a 66 yard strike. The Dutch evened the score on the next play from nine yards and used up just 46 seconds on the clock.
The Spartan defense would allow just a field goal in the first quarter before holding the Dutch scoreless in the second and third quarters before a late touchdown as time expired in the fourth quarter. The Dutch never stopped the Spartan offense as they continue to score in each quarter. Dylan Schultz caught a four-yard deflected pass in the endzone late in the second quarter to stretch the Spartan halftime lead to 24-10. Chris Bagley caught a 20 yard strike at 7:43 in the third to extend the Spartan lead to 31-10. Najee Toomer nabbed a 26 yard touchdown pass at 11:24 in the fourth as UD stretched lead to 38-10. Curtis Prull was perfect in special teams with five extra points and a 18 yard field goal. Neither team punted in the game, but Prull averaged 54.1 yards a kickoff in seven kicks for 379 yards with two touchbacks.
Returning to the starting line-up was quarterback Rio Johnson. He completed 22-26 attempts for 295 yards and four touchdowns and spread the passes to five different receivers. The group of receivers included: Schultz (6-70 yards), Jonathan Duarte (6-47 yards), Bagley (5-71 yards), Tommer (3-87 yards), and Trenton Granna-Curry (3-61 yards). The Dutch defense held the Spartan running game to 172 yards. Herrion ended with 16 carries for 73 yards as teammate Dai-Von Vance-Jenkins rumbled down the field for 71 yards in 14 carries.
Derek Trotter led tackles with seven, but the trio of Trevor Stauner, Jacob Owens, and Everett Schwer all ended with six tackles. The defensive unit collected two interceptions, two sacks, seven tackles for losses, and held the Dutch to 5-15 third and fourth down conversions.
The complete 2015 IIAC Football Coaches' Poll follows.
|Rank||School (1st place votes)||Points||2014 Record|
|1||Wartburg (7)||56||12-1 overall, 7-0 IIAC|
|2||Central (1)||50||8-2 overall, 6-1 IIAC|
|3||Coe||43||5-5 overall, 4-3 IIAC|
|4||Dubuque||38||4-6 overall, 3-4 IIAC|
|5||Luther||26||5-5 overall, 2-5 IIAC|
|6||Loras||23||3-7 overall, 2-5 IIAC|
|T7||Buena Vista||22||5-5 overall, 4-3 IIAC|
|T7||Simpson||22||3-7 overall, 0-7 IIAC
|1||#20 Dubuque||8-2 overall, 7-0 IIAC|
|2||#19 Wartburg||9-1 overall, 6-1 IIAC|
|3||Central||6-4 overall, 4-3 IIAC|
|T4||Coe||4-6 overall, 3-4 IIAC|
|T4||Loras||4-6 overall, 3-4 IIAC|
|T4||Simpson||4-6 overall, 3-4 IIAC|
|7||Luther||4-6 overall, 2-5 IIAC|
|8||Buena Vista||1-9 overall, 0-7 IIAC|