ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Wisconsin Lutheran College football team rolled up 536 yards of offense en route to a 27-12 win over Rockford Saturday at Sam Greeley Field. The offensive display featured the fourth-most yards in school history and 175 rushing yards from Donavin Tucker (Brookfield, Wis./East). Running back Mike Reeves (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates) scored another touchdown to tie the school record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season (10) and most total touchdowns in a season (11) with one game left to play.
After the defense forced Rockford (1-8, 0-5 NACC) to punt on the game's opening possession, the WLC (4-5, 3-2 NACC) offense took over on its own five. Reeves ran eight times for 45 yards on what turned into an impressive 13 play, 95-yard drive, capped by Reeves' four-yard touchdown run with 7:50 left in the first quarter. The junior tied Matt Kehl in 2005 for most rushing touchdowns in a season and also tied Kehl and receiver Josh Stodola (2012) for most total touchdowns in a season.
A Warriors turnover helped the Regents get on the board later in the quarter. Andy DeNoyer (Waukesha, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) fumbled a punt that was recoverd by Rockford at the Warriors' five. On the next play, quarterback Aabed Nekrawesh connected with Dane Kirk on a touchdown pass. The extra point was blocked by Travis Turnquist (Madison, Wis./East) to keep the Warriors in front 7-6 with 1:54 remaining in the opening period.
Early in the second quarter, Tucker's 29-yard run keyed a 76-yard touchdown drive, finished by Tucker on an 11-yard touchdown scamper with 6:11 left in the half. A missed extra point kept the score 13-6.
Rockford moved deep into WLC territory on the next drive, but Mitch Ronacher (Safety Harbor, Fla./Countryside) intercepted Nekrawesh in the end zone to keep the Warriors ahead at halftime.
The Warriors added on to the lead halfway through the third quarter on another 76-yard drive and a second touchdown for Tucker, a four-yard run that gave Wisconsin Lutheran a 20-6 edge.
The Regents trimmed the lead down to eight early in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Nekrawesh to Rob Toth. The extra point was blocked again to keep it a 20-12 Warriors lead.
WLC put the game away with its third 76-yard scoring drive of the game. Tucker took six straight carries for 39 yards to put the Warriors into Regents' territory. Quarterback Drew Dyrssen (Vista, Calif./California Lutheran) hit Nick Sherwood (Glendora, Calif./Damien) for a 28-yard touchdown pass to make it 27-12 with 5:18 left in the game.
Tucker piled up 175 yards on 30 carries, including the two touchdowns as WLC ran for 260 yards total. Dyrssen was 17-for-31 with 176 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception. Mitch Skarban (Appleton, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran) set a career-high with six catches for 128 yards. Tanner Behnke (Brillion, Wis./Brillion) anchored the Warriors defense with six tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery.
The Warriors were an astounding 11-for-16 on third down conversions. WLC was limited by four fumbles, but also recovered two Rockford fumbles.
Nekrawesh was 30-for-49 with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Rockford. Delroy Russell made 11 grabs for 102 yards. Ian Walton made 10 tackles and a tackle for a loss.
Wisconsin Lutheran (4-5, 3-2 NACC) closes the regular season when it hosts the Lutheran Bowl against Concordia Wisconsin (7-2, 5-0 NACC) Saturday at 1 p.m. at Raabe Stadium.