30 Iowa Conference titles
DUBUQUE—There’s more than one tool in the box for the No. 6 Central College football team.
With Loras College keying heavily on Dutch rushing leader David Zachary (senior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic), Central quarterback Nate Snead (sophomore, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) accounted for four touchdowns and helped the Dutch generate 379 yards of offense in a 41-17 victory Saturday. The Dutch are 8-0 overall and 6-0 in Iowa Conference play.
Zachary was limited to 73 yards on 15 carries, just the second time this season he’s failed to top the 100-yard mark. But Snead rushed for 92 yards and two TDs on 16 carries, while completing 6 of 9 passes for 94 yards and two scores. Quarterback Zack Bandow (junior, Manilla, IKM HS) also hit on 6-of-9 for 80 yards and a pair of TDs.
“It was nice to see other aspects of our offense come into play,” coach Jeff McMartin said. “Nate (Snead) had a great day running the football and David (Zachary) still got loose on a couple of big runs. But we also passed the ball well. We felt like we had an opportunity in the passing game and we took advantage of that. It led to a lot of good things for us.”
The Dutch defense withstood a Loras air assault. Quarterback Vaughn Gesing completed 31 of 49 passes for 282 yards. But Gesing was sacked four times and intercepted twice. Central forced three turnovers and turned them all into points.
“We were excited to get some turnovers,” McMartin said. “You can never plan on that but we were fortunate to get a few and we did a nice job of taking care of the ball ourselves. Turnovers were a big part of the game.”
One of the biggest came in the third quarter. After Central took a 21-3 halftime lead and built it to 27-3, Loras came back with an eight-play, 79-yard scoring drive to make it 27-10. The Duhawks then forced a Central punt but Kurtis Brondyke’s (junior, Clinton) 44-yard boot was fumbled at the 7 and recovered by junior linebacker Kevin Haupt (Grundy Center). That set up a 5-yard Snead TD run to make it 34-10, ending the Loras surge.Snead had scored Central’s first TD on a 2-yard first-quarter run.
Central, which entered the game ranked 21st in Division IIII in rushing defense, limited Loras (2-5 overall, 2-3 conference) to 61 yards rushing on 15 carries. The Dutch are now yielding just 74.2 yards a game on the ground.
Central outgained the Duhawks 379-343 yards overall. The Dutch passing game was efficient as Snead and Bandow combined to complete 12 of 18 throws for 174 yards and four TDs. Jeremy Snead (sophomore, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) had six receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns, a 15-yarder from Nate Snead and a 35-yarder from Bandow. Michael O’Rourke (junior, Williamsburg) and Alex Dittmer (senior, Loweden, North Cedar HS) each caught their first scoring passes of the year. O’Rourke grabbed a 13-yard toss from Bandow and Snead found Dittmer from 11 yards out.
Freshman linebacker Keith Rush (Griswold) had eight tackles while sophomore linebacker Ryan Steinkamp (Carroll, Kuemper Catholic HS) had seven. Defensive lineman Jon McWilliams (senior, Homestead, Williamsburg HS) had two sacks, while defensive lineman Shane Wong (junior, Pleasant Hill, Southeast Polk HS) had one, giving him a league-best 10 for the year.
“It was a great overall team win,” McMartin said. “We did a great job on special teams, too. We had some good kickoff returns, we covered kicks well and we punted the ball well. A lot of good things happened.”
Central plays its regular-season home finale next Saturday, meeting Buena Vista in a 1 p.m. game at Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium.