LA CROSSE, Wis. - The University of Dubuque football team engineered a hard fought victory on the road Saturday night by a 35-24 score over the UW-La Crosse Eagles. The Spartans scored on their first two possessions and never looked back in the squad's opening victory of the 2013 season.
UD led after the opening quarter 14-0 after compiling 211 yards of offense. New starting quarterback for the Spartans Bryan Bradshaw (Sr., QB, Crystal Lake, Ill.) opened the game by completing 10-16 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter of action. He would end the night completing 21-34 pass attempts for 326 yards and three touchdowns with his longest being a 64 yard strike to wide receiver Tyler Rutenbeck (Jr., WR, Maquoketa, Iowa). Rutenbeck was a favorite target collecting five passes for 170 yards and two TD's. Six Spartans caught passes on Saturday night, Rutenbeck along with Sean Anderson (Sr., WR, Yorkville, Ill.) grabbed five catches for 54 yards.
Kyle Acker (Sr., RB, Waunakee, Wis.) led the ground pounding attack with 25 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown. He lost just two yards in the victory over the Eagles. In special teams Doug Lillibridge (Sr., P, Byron, Ill.) punted five times for 199 yards with his longest punt of the year stopping at 48 yards. On kick-offs, Curtis Prull (So., K, Monticello, Iowa) kicked five times for an average of 58.6 yards a kick-off. Shaun Grewal returned two kick-offs for 45 yards.
The total yardage among the two teams ended just about equal, UD finished with 455 yards of offense while the Eagles ended with 472 yards of offense. Defensively it was all Spartans where they forced the host Eagles into committing four interceptions and a fumble. A trio of Spartans led the tackling effort with five solos each: Oscar White (So., DB, River Falls, Wis.), Austin Hughes (Sr., LB, Preston, Iowa), and Dustin Sorrentino (Sr., LB, Walworth, Wis.). UD sacked the Eagles quarterback five times with Andrew Mariotti (So., DL, Geneva, Ill.) collecting two for 12 yards lost. The Spartans capped off a night with eight tackles for losses of 32 yards.
UD also owned possession time 32:20 to the Eagles 27:40.
The Spartans will host the UW-Platteville Pioneers next Saturday night in the "Battle of the Bridge" game sponsored by Kwik Stop and Dairy Queen on Chalmers Field in Dubuque. Kick-off is slated for 6:00 p.m.