Washington University scored a pair of defensive touchdowns and held Buena Vista to just 39 yards rushing, as the Beaver football team suffered a tough 55-20 non-conference road loss on Saturday afternoon to the Bears in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Wash U (2-6) took their opening drive and marched 70 yards down field in 13 plays, including a key fourth-and-five conversion, to take a 7-0 lead just over four minutes in. BVU looked to come right back, but after getting down to the Bear's 20, quarterback Cole Miller was sacked on fourth-and-two, as BVU turned it over on downs. The Bears took advantage of that turnover, going back the other way 75 yards in 12 plays, capped by a two-yard touchdown plunge to take 14-0 lead to the second.
The Beavers attempted to go for it on fourth down at their own 36-yard line on the second play of the second quarter, and freshman Reed Kruse fumbled for a loss of 16 yards. The Beaver defense, however, came up big, stuffing the Bears on fourth-and-one from the BVU nine, giving the ball right back to the Beavers. Despite the defensive stand, the offense was unable to get any momentum going and had to punt it right back to Wash U.
After the Bears were forced to punt for the first time, BVU was hoping to use that as momentum for them, but the punt was downed at the BVU five, and two plays later, Miller was sacked in the endzone, and the ball was recovered by the host team for a 21-0 lead. The Bears later made it 28-0 with under six minutes to go in the first half before Miller started to find some rythmn which led to a five-yard touchdown catch from TJ Lint, making it 28-7 at the break.
After forcing BVU to punt on the first drive of the second half, Wash U returned the attempt 31 yards, setting up what would be a 17-yard touchdown run. A short touchdown pass midway through the quarter extended the lead to 41-7 before BVU stayed within striking distance with five-yard touchdown pass to freshman Eric Pacheco just seconds into the fourth, making it 41-14.
The Beaver defense forced a quick three-and-out to the give the offense the ball right back, but BVU would lose its second fumble of the contest which was returned 20 yards for a score, and Wash U led at that point, 48-14.
A 51-yard punt return for Wash U down to the BVU five set up its final score of the day with just over 10:00 left in the contest. The Beavers scored their final points of the afternoon on a four-yard scamper from Jesse Llamas just under three minutes to go, but it was too-little-too-late.
Miller finished the day 28-of-37 passing for 2937 yards passing and two touchdowns. Chris Ramirez got the nod at running back with a few injured players not seeing playing time, and he posted a team-leading 32 yards on just two attempts. Reed Kruse was next with 23 yards on 15 carries.
Charlie Flickinger caught a team-best six passes for 54 yards while Pacheco added five grabs and 67 yards.
BVU was outgained 175 to 38 on the ground and 380 to 317 in total offense. Buena Vista is now 3-3 on the year and will get back into Iowa Conference play next Saturday by hosting Nebraska Wesleyan (0-7, 0-5 IIAC) at 1:00 p.m.