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IW football drops final home game

Tigers clipped by Greenville in wacky 48-41 contest, fall to 2-7 overall
Oct 31, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Quarterback DeMarcus Collins (bottom left) dives into the end zone for a game-tying two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


The home-closer for the Iowa Wesleyan football team on Saturday had just about everything a Tiger fan would want. The one thing missing was an IW win. The Tigers fell 48-41 to Greenville College on a tie-breaking touchdown pass with 20 seconds left in the game.

IW immediately jumped out to a two-score lead in the first quarter. The Tigers put up two touchdowns over the course of 20 seconds to begin the scoring.

The first touchdown of the day was a two-yard rush by Jacquez Hall. Greenville fumbled away the kickoff return, and DeMarcus Collins hit Rudy Amezcua on a 44-yard touchdown pass on the next play. The PAT was good on the second touchdown and the score was 13-0 early.

The score stayed 13-0 after one quarter. Greenville cut the lead to 13-7 on a passing touchdown early in the second quarter. Akenyon Bagley scored on a 21-yard rushing touchdown rush late in the quarter to make it 20-7, but Greenville hit a field goal at the first half buzzer to cut it back to 20-10.

Greenville opened the third quarter with 10-straight points. The Panthers scored on a safety with 7:36 left in the quarter and scored on a 19-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 20-20 with 3:38 in the third.

After the touchdown, Greenville took a chance with an onside kick, one of a handful of onside kicks for the Panthers on the day. This one was recovered by IW and Collins found Josh Broadway on a 55-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the ensuing possession.

On the final play of the third quarter, Greenville’s Sean Brooks fumbled away the ball, giving IW great field position to start the fourth quarter.

The Tigers were able to capitalize with a little trickery to start the fourth period. Bagley took a pitch to the outside, but then dropped back for a halfback pass that went for a 27-yard score to Amezcua. The PAT failed but it was a 33-20 Tiger lead.

Greenville, however, had plenty of fight left in them. The Panthers clawed back with three-straight rushing touchdowns by Jonny Pruiett and took a 41-33 lead of their own with 5:53 remaining.

IW drove the field and responded with another touchdown by Bagley with 3:12 remaining in the game. After a two-point trick play was taken away on a penalty, Collins scrambled to the goal line on the next attempt and was able to tie the game at 41-41.

The Tiger defense, however, had been worn down from being on the field all day. Pruiett and the Panthers marched down field in the final minutes and Greenville’s Derek Grifzu scored on a nine-yard touchdown pass with 20 ticks remaining to take back the lead at 48-41.

Collins threw a ball deep downfield on the first play of the next IW drive, but the ball was intercepted and Greenville escaped with a win.

“I think early on, we had opportunity to take advantage of,” said IW coach Mike Richtman after the game. “We had some opportunities to build a lead, and we didn’t do it. We just weren’t consistent enough moving the football.”

The IW offense was led by Collins, who went 11-31 with 189 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions through the air, and scrambled for 102 yards as well. Hall finished with 47 yards and a touchdown on the ground, and Bagley had 33 yards and two scores.

Amezcua caught four passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns to lead the receiving core. Broadway had three catches for 74 yards. Jordan Pennington had 29 yards receiving. Charles Robinson finished with 14 receiving yards and Jacob Santos caught a four-yard pass.

It was a wacky day for the Tiger defense. On one hand, they gave up 811 total yards to the Greenville offense. On the other hand, they had seven takeaways, falling on all but one of eight Greenville fumbles.

Terry Alterma had 12 tackles and one forced fumble in the loss. Julian Carabajal had 11 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Joe Moseley had 11 tackles, and Austin Ferguson had 10 tackles nad a fumble recovery.

Daireon Smith had one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Noah Ross, Hue Lee and Craig Wrenn had one fumble recovery each, and Dylan McDonald had a forced fumble.

“When we look at the film, I think we’ll see a lot of breakdowns, as far as assignments and stuff,” Coach Richtman said. “Some of that is probably attributed to fatigue, but we need to have better focus. We need to be better ready to handle that and do our job.”

The Tigers fell to 2-7 overall and 2-6 in conference play with the loss. They will head south to play at Westminster College on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 1 p.m.

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