Sept. 12, 2009

Courtesy of Wis.-Stevens Point

PELLA, Iowa - The UW-Stevens Point football team took a 21-10 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Dutch of Central College scored twice in the final minutes and held on to defeat the Pointers 22-21 in the season opener.

After a scoreless opening quarter, the Pointers drew first blood in the second quarter, as Jared Beckwith (Baraboo) hit Anthony Aker (Milwaukee) from 28 yards out, capping an eight play, 77 yard drive to give the Pointers a 7-0 advantage with 10:27 remaining in the opening half.

Neither team was able to capitalize on scoring opportunities before the end of the half, and Point took the 7-0 advantage into halftime.

In the second half, Central tied the game on a one yard touchdown run by quarterback Nate Snead and later took a 10-7 lead on a Jake Viggers 40-yard field goal.

The Pointers re-took the lead with just over a minute to go in the third quarter, as Beckwith connected with Jared Jenkins (Milwaukee) on a five yard touchdown toss, giving the Pointers the 14-10 edge.

After a defensive stop by the Pointers at the start of the fourth quarter, Beckwith and Jenkins hooked up again, this time on a 63 yard pass and catch to end a seven play, 84 yard drive to give the Pointers the 11 point edge, 21-10.

Central did not go away quietly, as the Dutch put together two scoring drives in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, both scored by Nate Snead. The first touchdown scamper, a three yard run, capped an 11 play, 56 yard drive to cut the Dutch deficit to 21-16 after the two-point conversion failed. The second drive ended with a one yard touchdown run by Snead with 1:05 showing on the clock, giving the Dutch a 22-21 edge. Again, the two point conversion failed, giving the Pointers a chance to put together a game-winning drive.

Colton Zimmerman (Iola) returned the ensuing kickoff 20 yards to the Pointers 37 yard line, but a holding penalty on the play moved the Pointers back to their own 27 with 58 ticks left on the clock. A nine yard completion to Aker followed by a personal foul penalty gave the Pointers an extra 15 yards and a first down at midfield.

Another completion on to Aker on fourth down gave the Pointers the ball at the Central 37, but with just seconds left on the clock, another pass attempt from Beckwith to Aker fell incomplete, giving Central the upset victory over the seventh-ranked Pointers.

Beckwith finished the day going 22 of 37 for 254 yards and three touchdown strikes. Mike Ferron (Racine) led the way on the ground, carrying the ball 18 times for 74 yards with a long of 15. Jenkins caught eight passes from Beckwith for 120 yards and two scores.

Defensively, John Jones (Oregon) led the way with nine tackles, six solo while Peter Peterson (Pittsville) and Matt Lunder (Waunakee) added eight and seven respectively. Jones and Lunder teamed up for a sack and Brandon Bruger (Spencer) added a sack of his own. Kody Morgan (Iola) collected the team’s only takeaway, an interception returned for two yards.

Nate Snead was seven of 15 through the air for the Dutch, and his 23 carries were good for 102 yards and three scores. On the receiving end, Jeremy Snead caught four balls for 71 yards.

The Pointers (0-1) return to action next Saturday, Sept. 19 when they face Missouri S & T in Rollo, Missouri. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.