Titans trounce Carroll University Pioneers in homecoming game

Titans+trounce+Carroll+University+Pioneers+in+homecoming+game

William Heidenreich

Walking to the coin toss with swagger in their step, team captains #7 Brandon Bauer, #38 Jack Healy, #65 Jack Buhe, #1 Trevor Koepke and #3 Bryce Dooley mean business. 

Every homecoming has its share of exciting events and opportunities, but none draw a crowd like the annual homecoming football game. 

Last Saturday in the Shirk Center parking lot, meats cooked on grills and fans played tailgate games, conversing with acquaintances both old and new.

“I think the homecoming game does a great job of bringing people together, ” recent graduate and former football player Anthony Sciarini ‘18 said. 

Shortly before the game began, fans left their tailgates, trading spots in lawn chairs for stadium seats, eagerly anticipating the opening kickoff. 

Winning the toss, Carroll deferred to the Titans who chose to receive. During their competition, the Titans put on a clinic, pulverizing the Pioneers by a score of 42-14. 

IWU set the tone immediately, marching down the field to score early in the first quarter. 

Leading the drive was senior quarterback Brandon Bauer. Starting with the ball on their own 23 yard line, Bauer and his offense stormed down the field. On a nine play, 84 yard drive, the team scored, 7-0 Titans with 11:22 in the quarter remaining. 

A sore start for Carroll, the Pioneers were pummeled by the Titans on their opening drive. Starting their possession on their own nine yard line, the Pioneers would turn the ball over in three plays. 

On this drive, Carroll totalled only three yards of offense, IWU regaining possession with 9:16 remaining. 

Carroll would record their first score of the competition half-way through the second quarter, but not before the Titans scored a touchdown of their own, 7-14 IWU with 6:48 in the second remaining. 

Putting the Titans two touchdowns ahead of their opponent, senior Dean Zigulich took a second quarter kickoff 96 yards to the endzone, 21-7 at the half. 

“Dean’s kickoff return for a touchdown got our team fired up. It was huge for our confidence to jump to a two touchdown lead before half,” senior kicker Patrick Tata said. 

Notching their second and final touchdown of the game, the Pioneers trailed the Titans 14-21 with 13:47 remaining in the third. 

A touchdown in the third quarter followed by two more in the fourth, IWU would end the contest on top 42-14, improving to a record of 2-2 overall, 2-1 in conference play. 

In total, the Titans generated 539 yards on offense. Individual stat leaders include sophomore running back Bullie Hamid who rushed for 156 yards on 15 carries. 

In the air, Bauer threw for 261 yards. Bauer’s primary targets included senior running back Bryce Dooley and receiver Zigulich, Dooley recording 99 yards and Zigulich 73. 

Zigulich’s receiving efforts and kickoff returned for a touchdown earned him CCIW Player of the Week honors. 

On the other side of the ball, IWU’s defense tallied a whopping eight sacks, defensive lineman junior Mike Murphy the only player with two. 

Equally as impressive, Carroll was held to a meager 23 yards rushing. 

Thanks to IWU’s defensive efforts, the Pioneers finished the game with 341 total yards of offense, nearly half as much as the 539 yard Titan total. 

This Saturday, IWU hits the road to compete against Carthage College (Kenosha, Wis.), both teams with records of 2-2. 

“Playing in such a tough conference, there are no “easy” weeks. Last year we won a close game in overtime to Carthage, so we’ll ride into Kenosha well prepared for a tough game,” Tata said.