Football Falls To NACC-Leading Spartans

Photo Credit: Jeff Wilson
Photo Credit: Jeff Wilson

MILWAUKEE (WLCSports.com) – The Wisconsin Lutheran College football team was unable to slow down the high-powered Aurora Spartans offense, falling to visiting AU Saturday afternoon 62-7 at Raabe Stadium.

  • Final Score: Aurora 62, Wisconsin Lutheran 7
  • Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (2-7, 2-4 NACC), Aurora (8-1, 6-0 NACC)
  • Location: Raabe Stadium, Milwaukee, Wis.

  • The Spartans tested the Warriors defense vertically on the opening possession, but junior Ethan Ortiz (Milwaukee, Wis.) made them pay with a sideline interception on a deep pass attempt on just the third play of the game.
  • Following a punt by WLC, Aurora scored on its next two possessions, as Gavin Zimbelman found Jacolby Maxwell on a two-yard slant and Tyran Bailey scored a five-yard rushing touchdown.
  • At the end of the first quarter, the Warriors turned the ball over and the Spartans took advantage, connecting on a 36-yard touchdown pass on the following play.
  • Wisconsin Lutheran forced another turnover early in the second quarter, as senior Jody Styczynski (Coleman, Wis.) forced a fumble that was recovered by sophomore Colten Eklund (South Beloit).
  • The Warriors put together a solid drive, including a 50-yard completion to freshman Gavin Winter (Howards Grove, Wis.) on a long third down conversion, but the AU defense held strong, and the Warriors missed a field goal try to give the ball back.
  • Aurora scored two more times before halftime, as Zimbelman connected on a touchdown pass and Frankie Gordey recovered a fumble a scampered in for a score to give the Spartans a 35-0 lead at the break.
  • The Spartans started the second half with a pair of touchdown drives, capped off by two touchdown passes. The Warriors threatened on their next possession, gaining 55 yards, but once again Aurora's defense came through when WLC reached the red zone, causing four consecutive incompletions.
  • After a long touchdown drive for the Spartans, the Warriors put together their best drive of the game. Freshman Anthony Munoz (Buena Park, Calif.) capped off a 10-play, 65-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to senior Marquis Davis (Urbana, Ill.) for the Warriors' first points of the day.
  • AU used a long kickoff return to score one more time before the end of the game and close out the 62-7 victory.

  • Winter led the Warriors with 57 receiving yards, and sophomores Gabe Luce (Oakley, Mich.) and Christopher Nickson (Sterling Heights, Mich.) added 35 and 32 yards, respectively.
  • Senior Todd Lehman (Harvard, Ill.) rushed for 32 yards and freshman Jalen Harris (Chicago, Ill.) added 25 on the ground. 
  • Styczynski paced the defense with seven tackles and forced a fumble. Senior Tony Orlando (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) added six tackles, including a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.

  • Zimbelman completed 24 of 38 passes for 347 yards and five scores, increasing his season total to a NCAA Division III-leading 46 touchdown passes on the season. Matt Evert hauled in seven passes for 143 yards and score, and Maxwell added six catches for 89 yards and three scores to lead the Spartans.

  • The Warriors close out their 2019 season next Saturday when they host Concordia Wisconsin (4-5, 2-4 NACC) for Senior Day and the annual Lutheran Bowl at 1:00 p.m. The Falcons were shutout at Eureka today, 24-0. Links to live coverage will be available at WLCSports.com.