MOUNT PLEASANT – Two teams still hoping for a possible share of the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League title will hook up Saturday when Iowa Wesleyan College faces Grand View University at 1 p.m. in Des Moines at Williams Stadium.
Though their overall record has been darkened by four non-league losses, the Tigers are still 3-2 in MSFA Midwest play, sitting just one game behind co-leaders McKendree and William Penn. Grand View also is 2-2 in league, 1 1/2 games out of first and just one game in the loss column behind the league leaders.
IWC will have to bounce back this week and will need short memories after losing 65-6 to Saint Xavier last week. The Tigers were never able to catch up to the third-ranked team in the NAIA as the Cougars scored 21 points in the first quarter. Combined with a disjointed night that included two separate stoppages due to lightning in the area, Wesleyan had a long night as it lost to a ranked team for the fifth time this season. Brett Brodersen (So.-Visalia, Calif.) connected with Leondre Washington (Fr.-St. Louis, Mo.) for the lone touchdown of the game, but the Tiger offense was held to 163 yards for the game after averaging nearly 411 yards over its previous four games.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT – Grand View is still a young program, in just its third year of competition. The Vikings have slipped ever so slightly this year after a big year last year when they finished 8-3 and second in the Midwest League. GVU is 4-3 this year, with two of its losses coming to nationally ranked teams and a third to St. Francis (Ill.), and the Vikings fell out of the NAIA rankings early in the season after entering the year nationally ranked.
The Vikings’ calling card this year has been tough defense and running the ball on offense. Grand View leads the MSFA and ranks sixth in the NAIA alowing 14.9 points per game. GVU also leads the nation in pass defense at just over 110 yards per game and ranks fourth in the country in total defense with its unique 3-3-5 defensive alignment.
Offensively the Vikings have rushed the ball on 56% of their plays and have scored 21 of their 26 offensive touchdowns on the ground. GVU is led by running backs Daryl Ford and Dante Sims, but quarterbacks Taylor Bennett and Gregory Charles have combined to throw 15 interceptions on the season.
SERIES HISTORY – The series between the Tigers and Vikings is tied 1-1, with Grand View winning last year’s meeting 27-7. IWC outgained GVU last year and ran 98 plays on offense, but nine turnovers shorted any chance of a Tiger victory. Wesleyan won the first meeting between the teams two years ago with a 36-24 win at home as current Tigers assistant coach Jaren Maybin rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns.
WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR – With the loss to Saint Xavier last week, it looks like Iowa Wesleyan will have to wait another year to defeat a ranked team. The Tigers have not won a game over a ranked team since Sept. 29, 1984. That day IWC defeated Benedictine (Kan.), 43-28, defeating what was then the #7 ranked team in the NAIA. This year Wesleyan played five teams in the national rankings, all of them ranked #17 or higher at the time. All five of those teams remain ranked, with two of them ranked in the top 10 (Saint Xavier and St. Francis of Ind.) and three more (McKendree, William Penn, Coe) ranked from 13th to 16th in their respective national polls.
MOORE UPDATE – With two games remaining in his IWC career, wide receiver Lawrence Moore (Sr.-Country Club Hills, Ill.) remains in reasonable reach of one big school record and still has an outside shot at the other main record he has been chasing all season. Moore caught six passes for 52 yards last week to move past Bruce Carter (1990-91) into second on the all-time school receiving yardage list. He now has 2,075 yards receiving in his career and needs 121 yards receiving over his final two games to tie the school record of 2,196 yards held by Marcus Washington (1989-91).
It is appearing unlikely now that Moore will reach the other major record he has been chasing, the school record for receptions. The senior last week became the second receiver in school history to go over 200 career catches and currently has 205 receptions for his career. He will need 21 catches over his final two games to tie the record of 226 held by Carter.
COMMON OPPONENTS – A review of common opponents for IWC and Grand View reveals a variety of results. The Tigers and Vikings both lost to William Penn and defeated Quincy, but in very different manners. Wesleyan got into shootouts against both Penn and Quincy, losing 56-41 to the Statesmen and defeating the Hawks 62-50. Grand View lost big to William Penn, 38-7, but then went on the road the next week and rolled past Quincy 41-14. Both teams also have played St. Francis (Ill.), and IWC has the upper hand in that comparison. The Vikings lost to the Fighting Saints 17-10 on the road on Sept. 11, while the Tigers went to USF two weeks later and defeated the Saints 24-21 for their first win of the season.
ON THE AIRWAVES – Saturday’s game will again be aired online from the IWC Web site at http://www.iwc.edu/onlinemedia, with IWC Sports Information Director Adam Glatczak handling the play-by-play. Grand View also will provide a live broadcast on Edge 88, its campus radio station, which will be streamed at http://kdpsradio.streamon.fm/ with Geoff Conn doing the play-by-play.
Complete IWC-GVU Game Notes