Nebraska Wesleyan extended its winning streak to three games and got its record back to .500 as they defeated Briar Cliff University 35-14 in GPAC football action on Saturday (Oct. 27) at Memorial Field in Sioux City, Iowa.
The Prairie Wolves (4-4, 3-4 GPAC) took advantage of two third quarter turnovers to score back-to-back touchdowns and take a 21-7 lead after trailing 7-6 at halftime.
A Briar Cliff touchdown early in the fourth quarter got the Chargers within a score, but NWU sealed the win with two fourth quarter scores.
For the first time this season, the Prairie Wolves scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the game as they marched 64 yards in 10 plays capped off by a 5-yard Dustin Bryant TD run. The PAT was blocked to put NWU up 6-0.
The score remained 6-0 at the end of the first quarter after a goal line stand by the Prairie Wolves defense.
Another goal line stand by the NWU defense early in the second quarter kept the Chargers out of the end zone. BCU had the ball 1st & goal at the three yard line but could not score in four downs.
Finally, after a long punt return to the 20-yard line the Chargers went just 20 yards to score as an 8-yard touchdown pass on 4th & goal gave the Chargers the 7-6 halftime lead.
An interception by Brandon Reeves on the Chargers first 3rd quarter possession gave NWU the ball at the 32 yard line. Tyler Francis hit Jordan Delbaugh on a 18-yard touchdown pass to give NWU a 13-7 lead.
On the very next possession, Eric Richards recovered a BCU fumble at the 47 yard line. This time NWU went 56 yards as Francis hit Bryant on a 10-yard screen pass. The 2-pt PAT pass to Maury Lorence made the score 21-7 after three quarters.
Briar Cliff scored on a 11-yard TD pass to open the fourth quarter, but NWU responded with touchdowns on their next two possessions. Francis hit John Rieder on a 20-yard TD pass then scored on a 1-yard TD run.
Francis finished 17-24 for 197 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, while rushing for 14 yards with a TD. Bryant had 85 rushing yards with a touchdown, and caught five passes for 54 yards with a score.
Te NWU defense limited Briar Cliff to just 249 total yards, including 28 on the ground.