Football struggles offensively, drops CCIW contest

admin

Sam LaLonde

 

For a football team looking to get back to winning ways, Saturday was a disappointing afternoon for the Illinois Wesleyan University Titans. After losing only one home game in 2013, the Titans suffered their second straight home loss, which brings their overall record to 3-3 and drops them to 1-2 in the CCIW.

While the defense was able to hold Augustana to only seven points, offensive struggles proved costly in a low-scoring affair that ended 7-2 in favor of the Augustana Vikings.

Without first-year starting quarterback Jack Warner for the second straight week, the Titans failed to create much of an offense against a struggling Augustana team. Sophomore back-up quarterback Donovan Laible threw two interceptions while completing 18 of 35 passing attempts (51%).  Along with 205 passing yards, Laible accounted for 59 rushing yards, which was a team high.

Senior Artie Checchin and junior Anfernee Roberts combined for 46 yards on the ground. The Titans have scored just three rushing touchdowns this year on 204 total attempts. Unfortunately for Laible and the Titans, a late game injury sidelined the quarterback and will keep him out for future games, putting them in an even deeper hole at that position.

In addition to a poor running performance, IWU also struggled in the air. The 205 passing yards for the Titans on Saturday was the second lowest of the season next to 201 yards in the Carthage game, which they also lost. Checchin, Roberts and junior Andrew Javorka combined for 90 receiving yards as the Titans failed to score on offense.

“It was a tough game.  Offensively, we never were able to really find a rhythm out there.  Fortunately we still have a lot of football to play and will look to rebound next weekend,” said sophomore John Shipman.

Although the offense struggled, the IWU defense had another impressive performance. Along with giving up just one touchdown on 235 total offensive yards for the Vikings, the defense also accounted for the Titans’ only points on a safety by sophomore Sean Garvey.

Sophomore transfer Luke Roth had a sack along with a gutsy tackle when his helmet fell off mid-play. Unfortunately for the Titans, the Augustana quarterback came up with a big first down conversion on third and long, dodging Titan tacklers all over the field, with impressive awareness and athleticism.

The Titans will get back in action Saturday, Oct. 25 against conference rival Elmhurst College, and look to save their season at Tucci Stadium at 1:00 p.m. in a must-win game.