Johnson, defense drive Warriors to Homecoming win

Johnson, defense drive Warriors to Homecoming win
Box score

MILWAUKEE - Junior wide receiver Dominique Johnson (Milwaukee, Wis./Vincent) hauled in three second-quarter touchdowns and the WLC defense forced six turnovers as the Warriors defeated Concordia University Chicago 27-16 on Saturday afternoon on Homecoming at Raabe Stadium.

Wisconsin Lutheran and Concordia Chicago played through a scoreless first quarter before the Warriors exploded for 21 second-quarter points. Freshman quarterback Zach Shaw (Gurnee, Ill./Warren Township) connected with Johnson on touchdown passes of 42, 17 and 25 yards, respectively, including the latter with just 33 seconds left before halftime as WLC built a 21-7 lead over the Cougars at the break.

Freshman kicker Philip Chaltis (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee) extended WLC's lead to 24-7 with 7:14 left in the third quarter when he connected on a 22-yard field goal. The Cougars responded on their ensuing possession with a three-yard touchdown run by Justin Peacock. The score remained 24-14 in favor of the Warriors after three quarters of action.

Chaltis drilled his second field goal of the game, a 35-yarder, on the Warriors' first drive of the fourth quarter for a 27-14 cushion. The game stayed that way through the majority of the final quarter as both teams exchanged punts and turnovers. Pinned back at its own one yardline with under 10 seconds to play, the Warriors intentionally snapped the ball through the end zone for a safety awarded to CUC.

Johnson finished the game with five catches for 115 yards and three scores, all of which came in the first half. Shaw completed 10 of 19 passes for 184 yards. Larry Hairl (Chicago, Ill./Clemente) led all rushers with 80 yards on 15 carries.

Defensively, the Warriors, who gave up just 26 yards on the ground, forced six turnovers (four interceptions, two fumbles) and turned two of those into scores. Junior linebacker Josh McCormick (Fond du Lac, Wis./Winnebago Lutheran) finished with a game-high 11 tackles.

Junior defensive end Kaylan Gaines (Lake Worth, Fla./American Heritage) recorded nine tackles, including 3.5 of WLC's eight sacks on the afternoon, and two forced fumbles. Tom Bodnar (Racine, Wis./Park) intercepted a pair of throws, while Trey Cochran (Bay City, Mich./Central) and Brad Marshall (Cudahy, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) also had a pick.

Cougars quarterback Mike Marotta completed 22 of 41 passing attempts for 294 yards and a touchdown for Concordia Chicago (3-1, 0-1 NAC). Mike Egebrecht had four receptions for 88 yards, while Jason Talos tallied a team-high eight tackles.

The Warriors (2-2, 1-0 NAC) travel to Sheboygan, Wis., next Saturday to play their second NAC game of the season against the Lakeland Muskies. The game between WLC and Lakeland kicks off at 1 p.m. at Taylor Field.