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Beaver Football Fails to Capitalize on Big Lead in Homecoming game

Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

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The Buena Vista football team (1-4) hosted their Homecoming game against the visiting Loras Duhawks (2-2) this past Saturday afternoon in an American Rivers Conference matchup. It was also a big day for Beaver alumni, as it was the Hall of Fame weekend as well. 

With J Leslie Rollins Stadium packed, the newly formed BVU pep band filled the air with music as the opening kickoff awaited a 1:00 start. Hundreds of Buena Vista alumni from all years past gathered at their alma mater to cheer on the team to a hopeful victory. 

The Buena Vista football team rose to the occasion from the beginning, and first had to back up the team motto of “Defend the Lake” as Loras chose to receive the opening kickoff. 

The Beaver defense got to work, and forced the Duhawks into a three-and-out. At the helm of the offense, senior quarterback Cole Miller has already put up huge numbers in the air and on the ground all season, and would not disappoint on homecoming either.  

On their first drive, the Buena Vista offense drove down the field in seven plays. A one-yardline handoff to Storm Lake native, Joshua Werge put BVU on top from the beginning. 

From there, everything would click for Buena Vista as the defense remained stout on their second outing, forcing Loras to settle for a field goal after a long drive. 

With the offense back out on the field, BV enforced their aerial threat on the Duhawks with an added and reinforced run game. The Beavers found the end zone again after Miller connected with fellow quarterback Taylor Youngblood on a swing pass for a 16-yard TD. 

With a 13-3 lead heading into the second quarter, defensive back Patrick Spicer set the tone with his second interception of the game. However, the offense failed to capitalize on the red zone opportunity given to them, and were forced to punt. 

Buena Vista would outscore Loras for two quarters in a row, this time 13-7. Heading into halftime, the Beavers would lead 26-10. 

During the break, several past Buena Vista athletes were written into the history books forever, alongside one Beaver team. Jamie Taxed, Jeff Brennan, LuAnn (Thurn) Van Kirk, and Don Walls were present to receive their induction, alongside a rousing standing ovation from the Buena Vista fans. The 1975 Buena Vista football team was also inducted into the athletics Hall of Fame. The team, led by the famed Coach Hershberger, would tie for second in the conference. 

Coming out of halftime, Loras looked to fire back at Buena Vista and get their offense rolling. This time, Buena Vista converted on the momentum and Miller found Jordan Travis in the back of the end zone for another touchdown.  

However, Loras began to gain steam. Balancing out their pass heavy game plan with quarterback keeps and counter runs, the Duhawks drove 59 yards in seven plays to score on the Beavers and cut their lead down. 

The Duhawk defense tightened as well, holding the Beavers to 14 points in the third quarter while Loras scored 13 of their own. 

Entering the final quarter of play, Buena Vista would lead 40-23. 

Things changed drastically for Buena Vista as they began to see their big lead slip away after Loras only had to drive 40 yards to score. On the very first play of Loras’ next possession, the Duhawks’ running back Elijah Thomas scampered 64 yards for a long touchdown. 

Another long drive put Loras on the board once again, and Buena Vista would only lead by three. However, Spicer had other plans. Snatching another pass out of the air, Spicer claimed a hat-trick of interceptions on the day, cementing his place in the BV record books for a three-way tie for most interceptions in one game (3).

With their three point lead, the Beavers looked to seal the game with a long drive that culminated with a fourth-and-goal play at the one-yard line. However, the failed pass attempt gave Loras the ball back with four minutes to spare. 

With renewed energy and all of the momentum on their side, the Duhawks ran all over the Beaver defense, going the length of the field for a 99-yard drive. Noah Sigwarth, Loras’ QB, tucked the ball and ran into the end zone, dashing BV’s hopes for a win. 

With one more chance to score, the Beaver offense ending up throwing an interception to end the game. 

Final score: Loras 44, Buena Vista 40. 

The comeback by the Duhawks found them outscoring Buena Vista 21-0 in the fourth quarter. 

The shift of momentum between halves was noted by the team. Miller, a team captain, wished the Beavers had kept on the pressure. 

“We came out of halftime flatter than the way we started the game and we weren’t able to capitalize like we had in the first half.” says Miller. 

There were positives to take from the game for Buena Vista; Miller set yet another record for the program, claiming the second highest career touchdown total with 51 now.  

“It feels great to have my name up there with other great quarterbacks that have played for Buena Vista,” says Miller. “There have been a lot of people that have helped me get to where I am and I owe all of them a huge thank you.” 

The Beavers are back in action this Saturday, the 13th traveling to Luther. The Norse also have yet to win an American Rivers game this year.

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Beaver Football Fails to Capitalize on Big Lead in Homecoming game