MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Lutheran College football team exploded for 35 first-quarter points on its way to a 56-6 non-conference win over Maranatha Saturday at Raabe Stadium. The Warriors improved to 3-5 and the Crusaders dropped to 1-7.
The Warriors offense scored touchdowns on each of its four drives in the first quarter. Maranatha took the ball first and was forced to punt. WLC took over at the Crusaders' 42 and needed just 59 seconds to reach the end zone on a 21-yard touchdown scamper by Donavin Tucker (Brookfield, Wis./East).
Maranatha went three-and-out on its next possession and punted from its own end zone. Jordan Miller (Menominee, Mich./Menominee) broke through to block the punt and it was recovered in the end zone by Bryce Schoen (Clintonville, Wis./Clintonville) for a touchdown to make it a 14-0 Warriors lead.
After another three-and-out by the Crusaders, WLC made another quick march to the end zone. Quarterback Drew Dyrssen (Vista, Calif./California Lutheran) hit Tucker for 41 yards on a screen pass down to the Maranatha one. Dyrssen then connected with Davonte Wilson (Greenfield, Wis./Greenfield) on a touchdown pass to make it 21-0.
The next possession for Maranatha ended in a fumble that was recovered by Cody Thurber (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) at the Crusaders' 25. On the next play, Dyrssen found Caleb Wolf (Cedarburg, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
On the final drive of the first quarter, Dyrssen and Mitch Skarban (Appleton, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran) combined on a 32-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-0. Dyrssen was 11-for-20 in the game with 227 yards passing and three touchdowns.
The teams played a scoreless second quarter before the Warriors added another touchdown in the third on a 25-yard run by Mike Reeves (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates).
WLC added on early in the fourth quarter as backup quarterback Anthony Rodriguez (Kissimmee, Fla./Gateway) hit Nick Sherwood (Glendora, Calif./Damien) for a 33-yard pass down to the one. Sherwood capped the drive with a touchdown run on the next play. The Warriors final tally came on a three-yard touchdown run by Chris Williams (Chicago, Ill./Chicago Bulls College Prep) to make it 56-0.
The lone score for Maranatha came on a touchdown pass with 28 seconds left in the game from Brandon McCormick to Clayton Morrison.
The Warriors outgained the Crusaders 463-202. Reeves finished with eight carries for 86 yards and a touchdown. Andy DeNoyer (Waukesha, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) was the leading receiver with two grabs for 57 yards. Brian Hopkins (Silver Lake, Wis./Wilmot) anchored the Warriors defense with nine tackles and a sack. Luke Sebald (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) finished with five tackles and four tackles for a loss, including two sacks.
McCormick was 14-for-38 passing for Maranatha with 160 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Clint Saxon ran 26 times for 52 yards for the Crusaders. Jordan Dersch finished with 12 tackles to lead the defense.
WLC (3-5, 2-2 NACC) returns to conferenece play next Saturday when it travels to Rockford (1-7, 0-4 NACC) for a Noon kickoff.