MITCHELL, S.D. – On a cold and windy afternoon, the Dakota Wesleyan University football team dropped its final game of the season to Hastings College, 21-13 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference showdown on Saturday at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell.
After DWU was forced to punt on the opening possession of the game, the Tiger defense held strong. With Hastings driving, the Broncos (5-6, 3-6 GPAC) attempted a fourth-down conversion. However, the defense tackled the ball carrier short of the first-down marker to give the ball back to the offense.
Two plays later, Alex Pohlen (Minneota, Minn.) found Spencer Neugebauer (Mitchell, S.D.) for a 43-yard completion down to the Hastings 10-yard line. But, DWU fumbled the ball on the ensuing play to give the ball back to the Broncos.
Neither offense could find the end zone until DWU did with three minutes left in the half. Luke Loudenburg (Canova, S.D.) punched the ball into the end zone from two yards out to take a 6-0 lead.
With 40 seconds left in the half and DWU with the ball on the Hastings side of the field, Pohlen threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown as the Broncos held a 7-6 lead at the half.
On the opening possession of the second half, the Broncos drove 79 yards and scored on a one-yard rush to take a 14-6 lead. Two minutes into the final quarter, Hastings added another score to push its lead to 21-6.
But, on the next DWU possession, the Tigers drove 62 yards and scored thanks to a Loudenburg five-yard rush to make it a 21-13 game with 9:54 left to play.
With eight minutes remaining, the Tigers took over at their own 48-yard line. DWU went on to drive down to the Hastings two-yard line. With two yards to go on fourth down, the Tigers were unable to score as the Broncos regained possession of the ball and ran out the clock on the game.
Loudenburg led the charge offensively with 146 rushing yards on 38 attempts and two touchdowns. Neugebauer added three catches for 46 yards, while Daniel Libolt (Chambers, S.D.) snagged three catches for 43 yards. Tyler Wagner (Webster, S.D.) led the defense with 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for loss. Cody Reichelt (Mitchell, S.D.) finished with eight tackles, as the Tigers tallied 336 yards of offense and 20 first downs.
The Tigers conclude the season with a 2-9 record overall and a GPAC record of 1-8.