September 12, 2016 by Mark Myers
Westminster 24 @ Iowa Wesleyan 7
This game looked ugly on paper. Both teams combined for only 350 yards of offensive. Wesleyan was four of 18 on 3rd downs and punted the ball eight times. Westminster didn’t fare much better, going two of 15 on 3rd downs and punting the ball seven times. There was only one offensive touchdown was a one yard dive by Latif Adams.
The UMAC Offensive Player of the Year had a pedestrian start to his conference season with 59 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries. Adams is capable of a lot more, and Westminster will need him to be a factor when they face MacMurray.
Greenville 28 @ Minnesota Morris 33
Oh, Greenville. Do you exist just to spite the UMAC Coaches Poll? Many people (myself included) thought that last year was just a bump in the road, but now it looks like there’s a bit of reality creeping in. All of this still could be an overreaction, but losing to an eighth place team when you’re expected to be third is not a good sign. Greenville was without starting RB Hamid Camara yet they still managed to equal Morris’ offensive output in regards to yardage. I’m not aware of what his status is, but I hope that this is just a onetime occurrence.
The Cougars got two touchdowns and a safety from a blocked punt courtesy of their defense. They also managed to stop Greenville from scoring during the last eight minutes of the game. On top of all that, the Cougars had 6 sacks and three turnovers. It looks like a defensive battle will take place when they face UNW this weekend.
Martin Luther 7 @ Eureka 38
Talk about a dominant win by an experienced team. Eureka ran wild over Martin Luther with 241 yards on the ground. LeAnthony Reasnover lead the way with 130 yards on the ground, including a 60-yard gallop on the first play of the game. Martin Luther was shut down the whole game by the Eureka defense. Martin Luther could only muster 140 yards of offense and most of that came on an 80-yard drive during garbage time.
According to the experts at D3football.com, Eureka is poised to leap up to second in the UMAC this year. The UMAC coaches seem to think they’re more middle of the conference. My opinion? They have had two dominant wins over weak teams. Knox hasn’t had a winning season since 2002 and Martin Luther lost to what many consider the worst team in D3 football this year, Maranatha Baptist. They might be returning almost all of their starters, but they don’t have a proven quarterback after two games. Eureka has a chance to prove them belong next week when they face St. Scholastica.
Northwestern 21 @ Crown 0
UNW gets the job done against Crown. The defense did a nice job pitching the shutout and allowing only 156 yards of Crown offense. Corban Halbur managed the game well, going 16 of 25 for 198 yards with 1 INT and 1 TD. BJ Foster broke the 100-yard barrier, but it’s obvious FB Payton Bowdry was missed. UNW has to improve their offense if they intend to go the NCAA playoffs for the first time in program history.
Crown’s season lives and dies with QB Taylor Watkins play. The sophomore from Spokane, Washington had a few beautiful throws, but also threw two interceptions (albeit on the same drive). Having a backfield full of seniors to lean on will help, but ultimately how far Crown goes depends on well Watkins plays this season.
MacMurray 28 vs. St. Scholastica 37
The UMAC Game of the Week certainly lived up to its billing. There was a lot of curiosity concerning the Saints and how they would handle the loss of their senior class. That curiosity was satisfied with a solid win over MacMurray. No QB rotation this season for the Saints, as Kyle Stepka took all snaps at QB with Paulson holding the clipboard. Freshman Teddy Gildersleeve had a solid day on the ground for the Saints and the defense seemed just fine without the talent from last year. It is a little suspect that a team like MacMurray, not known for airing it out, scored two TDs in less than four minutes in the fourth quarter, but the win is still deserved.
MacMurray looked good in defeat, with Coy Dorothy going 17 of 33 for 176 yards and two TDs. Chazz Middlebrook, a revelation at running back last year, lead the way on the ground for 144 yards on 29 rushes. The defense gave up 37 points but the Saints might have the most potent offense in the UMAC this year, so it evens out. The upcoming game against Westminster will help shape their role in the UMAC championship hunt this fall.