BV Football’s Aerial Attack Tops Hamline in Non-Conference Home Opener


Allie Hartman

Tanner Frost, Co-Sports Editor

The Buena Vista 2018-19 sports year began with a bang as the Beavers’ football team kicked off for the first time against the Hamline Pipers this past Thursday, Aug. 30. 

Dubbed “Community Night”, the second annual event saw Buena Vista play an opponent they have never lined up against in the history of the program. After last year’s season-opening win against Mayville State, BV looked to increase their Community Night record to 2-0. 

With a pass-heavy offense and a young, hungry defense, the Beavers matched up favorably with the Pipers. Hamline’s tricky play style with an experienced senior quarterback in Justice Spriggs looked to take an early lead, which they did. 

After receiving the ball to start the first quarter, Hamline found immediate success through a broken play. Spriggs’ pass to wide receiver Tanner Lunceford busted down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown, putting Hamline up within a minute. 

However, Buena Vista would not be deterred and fired back immediately on offense. Quarterback Cole Miller and wideout Eric Pacheco combined twice, for a two-play, 63-yard drive to find the end zone. A missed extra point capped the drive and ended the first exchange 7-6 in favor of Hamline. 

From that point on, the Beaver defense found their form and grinded the next three Hamline offensive drives into a halt. Meanwhile, the BV offense continued their aerial attack, taking the lead through a five-yard lob to 6”5’ tight end Caleb Herrick; Herrick, a first-year, also enjoyed his first career touchdown as a Beaver. 

Hamline’s response was an 11 play, 86-yard drive down the field which culminated in a quarterback sneak into the end zone by Spriggs. 

As the fatigue of the night began to set in, the Beaver defensive line stepped up. Gary Weaver, Quamaree Harris, Mason Wickett, and Marquee Edwards spearheaded the BV attack on Spriggs, as all four dominated the line of the ball and collapsed the QB’s pocket every play. By the end of the night, the team would record six total sacks, including two by Weaver. 

Entering halftime, BV held a slim lead of 20-14, but also received the ball first in the second half. 

After the break, the offensive showcase by both teams continued, until BV cornerback Jayvon Hill stepped up for the defense.  

During a long Hamline drive which found the Pipers closing on the Beaver endzone, Hill snatched a misplaced pass out of the air, and sprinted down the sideline for 45 yards before being taken down. 

Now with the momentum in their favor, the Beaver defense locked down, while the offense gained steam. Miller and tight end Matthew Yngve connected for a score, and Storm Lake native Joshua Werge found the end zone in his return to his hometown. 

Hamline still continued to put pressure on the Beavers until with less than two minutes left, Miller and Pacheco shined as a pair once again, with a 44-yard touchdown pass to put BV up by two scored. 

Going all-out with their attack, Hamline lost their last opportunity to score when Jayvon Hill once again jumped a route for his second pick of the night and sealed the game for BV. 

Final score: 39-27 Buena Vista. 

The highlight of the night though came after the game. After handshakes, the Beaver football team gathered in front of the all-white wearing student section for a special surprise. 

Locked arm-in-arm, the Beavers sang the Buena Vista University alma mater to the crowd and ended the night in cheers. Head Coach Grant Mollring was proud of his team’s start of a new tradition and wondered why it hadn’t been done before. 

“At a few of my previous coaching stops, this was a tradition that had been carried on for decades,” says Mollring. “I wanted our guys to have a sense of pride in playing for Buena Vista University so I hatched the idea this summer to get this started. We will be singing it no matter the outcome of the game as we play for the University in victory and defeat.” 

Jayvon Hill recorded two interceptions for BV, while the linebacking pair of Colby Laughlin and Reed Kruse led the team in tackles with 10 and eight respectively. 

Defensive line Coach Adrian Davis was pleased with the way his group played, and the way their game plan turned out. 

“All week we talked about having a physical mindset and bringing that to the game,” says Davis. “I wanted to rotate a bunch of guys to keep us fresh in the fourth quarter and it worked out for us.” 

The Beavers will travel to play Concordia Nebraska this Saturday for their second game, which will kick off at 1:00 p.m.