Fast Start, Strong Finish Fuel Warriors To Homecoming Victory

Fast Start, Strong Finish Fuel Warriors To Homecoming Victory

MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Lutheran College football team scored a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and outscored Kalamazoo 19-6 in the second half on the way to its first win of the season, a 32-20 non-conference triumph on Homecoming Saturday afternoon at Raabe Stadium.

WHERE THEY STAND

  • The Warriors improved to 1-2 and the Hornets fell to 0-3 on the season.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • WLC opened its bag of tricks on the first play from scrimmage, as quarterback Anthony Hernandez (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge) threw a lateral to Anthony Rodriguez (Kissimmee, Fla./Gateway), who bombed the ball to a wide open Mitch Skarban (Appleton, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran) for a 73-yard touchdown connection.
  • On Kalamazoo's first play, Weston Sexton (Niagara, Wis./Niagara) intercepted Aaron McGuire's pass, giving the Warriors the ball deep in Hornets territory. WLC couldn't capitalize and turned the ball over on downs.
  • A fumble by Hernandez on the Warriors next drive gave Kalamazoo the ball at WLC's 20, and McGuire connected with Dan Grost on a six-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at seven.
  • Late in the first quarter, McGuire gave the Hornets the lead with a 57-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7 with 2:04 to play in the quarter.
  • Halfway through the second quarter, a poor punt gave the Warriors great field position at Kalamazoo's 25, and Mike Reeves (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates) ran it in on the first play of the drive to cut the deficit to 14-13 following a missed extra point. That remained the score at halftime.
  • The Warriors alternated Hernandez and Rodriguez at quarterback in the opening drive of the second half, and used six runs to march 40 yards and take the lead on Rodriguez's 20-yard touchdown scamper. A failed two-point conversion kept the score 19-14.
  • Kalamazoo started its final drive of the third quarter at WLC's 24-yard line, but the defense forced a key turnover on downs.
  • On the next drive, WLC drove 82 yards in 10 plays, highlighted by a 19-yard run by Rodriguez and capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Chris Williams (Chicago, Ill./Chicago Bulls College Prep).
  • The Hornets responded with a 12-play, 84-yard drive scoring on McGuire's 12-yard touchdown throw to Jacob Lenning to trim the lead to 26-20.
  • WLC answered right back on the next drive, as Hernandez was 3-for-3 for 42 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Skarban to make it 32-20 with 7:35 to play following a failed two-point conversion.
  • Jake Engels (Coleman, Wis./Coleman) intercepted McGuire on fourth down on the ensuing drive to seal the game.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • The Warriors outgained the Hornets 463-413 yards, including a 319-263 disparity through the air.
  • WLC won the turnover battle, recovering two fumbles and grabbing two interceptions while turning the ball over twice.
  • The two no-huddle offenses combined to run 176 plays in the game.
  • Hernandez was 24-for-48 passing for 242 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
  • Rodriguez was 2-for-3 for 77 yards and a score, and also piled up 65 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
  • Reeves ran 15 times for 76 yards and a touchdown.
  • Skarban made five catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Trey Howard (Houston, Texas/Alief Hastings) led the Warriors defense with 12 tackles, including nine solo tackles and two pass breakups. Jestin Heimbruch (Manawa, Wis./Little Wolf) made eight tackles, three tackles for a loss, and a sack. Luke Sebald (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) supplied two of the Warriors' four sacks and recovered a fumble.
  • McGuire was 24-for-36 for 227 yards, with two touchdowns and two picks. He was also the game's leading rusher with 24 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown.
  • Alex Dietrich pulled in six passes for 82 yards for Kalamazoo.
  • Dylan Zerki racked up a game-high 16 tackles, including 11 solo stops. 

UP NEXT

  • The Warriors are idle next week before opening NACC play at Lakeland (0-2) October 4 at 1:00 p.m. The live audio broadcast will begin at 12:30 on wlcsports.com.