MITCHELL, S.D. – On a windy homecoming afternoon, the Dakota Wesleyan University football team fell at the hands of Dordt College in a Great Plains Athletic Conference game, 50-23 on Saturday at Joe Quintal Field.
On their first drive of the game, the Tigers (1-6, 0-5 GPAC) drove the length of the field and capped off the drive with a 25-yard field goal by Tate Gale (Irene, S.D.) to take an early 3-0 lead.
Dordt answered back on their first drive, with a 13-play touchdown drive to take a 6-3 lead. After intercepting a DWU pass, the Defenders (4-2, 3-2 GPAC) found the end zone again and held a 12-3 lead.
The Defenders scored on their next two possessions of the first half as they took a 26-3 lead at the break.
On their opening possession of the second half, the Defenders drove the field and scored. But, on the ensuing kickoff, freshman receiver Daniel Libolt (Chambers, Neb.) darted down the DWU sideline for a 94-yard kick return for a touchdown.
A few possessions later, the Tigers forced a fumble that was recovered by Emmanuel Christopher (Sioux Falls, S.D.) to set DWU up at the Dordt 16 yard line. Two plays later, Shaye Slaughter (Harrisburg, S.D.) scampered into the end zone on a 16-yard run to cut into the Defender lead, making it 36-16.
With 4:16 left to play, Slaughter threw a pass over the middle of the field that was deflected by Spencer Neugebauer (Mitchell, S.D.), but hauled in by Libolt who took the catch 52 yards for the score. However, the late touchdown was not enough as the Tigers dropped the contest on Blue & White Days.
Slaughter finished the game 11-of-23 passing for 173 yards and two total touchdowns, as Libolt tallied 52 yards receiving and two total touchdowns. Neugebauer led the receivers with three catches for 75 yards and Luke Loudenburg (Canova, S.D.) led the DWU rushers with 51 rushing yards. Leading the way defensively was Tyler Wagner (Webster, S.D.) who tallied 13 tackles and a tackle for loss. Cody Reichelt (Mitchell, S.D.) and Alan Murtic (Phoenix, Ariz.) notched 10 tackles apiece, while Eathen Gaulke (Kimball, S.D.) added nine tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a pass break up.
The Tigers head to Fremont, Neb., next week to take on Midland University for a GPAC contest at 1 p.m. on Saturday.