FOREST CITY - Jaren Maybin (Sr.-Baltimore, Md.) scored three touchdowns, Gerald Knighten (Sr.-Bellwood, Ill.) returned a punt for a touchdown and Iowa Wesleyan College got contributions from a number of young players in a 26-14 win over Waldorf College Saturday afternoon on a muddy David Bolstorff Field.
The Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak and ruined the Warriors' Homecoming with a big first half, scoring all 26 of their points in taking a 26-7 halftime lead. IWC then played an efficient second half, allowing an early score to Waldorf before the Tiger defense stiffened and field conditions deteriorated, making footing treacherous and hanging onto the ball a challenge.
Maybin carried the load for the offense early, scoring on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Kevin McConnell (Fr.-Kansas City, Mo.), the first collegiate touchdown pass for the first-year quarterback. The senior running back then added a 60-yard touchdown run later in the first quarter to give IWC the lead for good, and he then added a five-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter to make it 20-7.
Wesleyan got its final touchdown late in the second quarter when Knighten caught a punt and then caught the Warriors sleeping, racing 57 yards for the touchdown after Waldorf thought there was a fair catch on the play. The Warriors slowed down pursuit after Knighten caught the ball, and the senior took off down the sideline for the score, the Tigers' first punt return for a touchdown in two years.
After halftime, Waldorf struck quickly when Erskinte Henderson took an option pitch and raced 59 yards for a touchdown less than a minute into the third quarter. That would be the last score of the game, though, and IWC got a number of big defensive stops in the second half. Scott Baldwin (Sr.-Penn Valley, Calif.) had a pair of sacks, Matthew Palmer-Newton (So.-Camarillo, Calif.) had a sack and forced fumble and Jean Louis (Fr.-Wilton Manors, Fla.) had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in his first start at defensive end.
Maybin finished the game rushing for a career high 155 yards on 15 carries. It was his sixth career 100-yard rushing game. McConnell completed 16 of 27 passes for 133 yards, and also rushed 17 times for 90 yards. Lawrence Moore (Jr.-Country Club Hills, Ill.) had five catches for 43 yards, while Wes McGraw (Fr.-Keokuk, Iowa) had his first three collegiate receptions for a total of 47 yards.
Louis finished with nine tackles in the game, including two tackles for loss and 1 1/2 sacks. Baldwin finished with eight tackles and 2 1/2 tackles for loss, and Nate Washington (Fr.-Stone Mountain, Ga.) had eight solo tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two passes broken up.
IWC gained a season-high 363 yards of total offense, including a total of 230 yards rushing. The Warriors gained 257 yards and fumbled the ball eight times, losing three fumbles. Wesleyan lost just one fumble in the game, that coming in the second quarter after a pass was ruled a lateral and Waldorf pounced on the ball.
The Tigers improved to 2-4 overall, 1-2 in the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League. Waldorf fell to 1-3 overall, 0-2 in the MSFA Midwest.
Wesleyan next will face William Penn University next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Oskaloosa in another MSFA Midwest League game. The Tigers then will return home the following weekend for Homecoming against Quincy (Ill.) University at 1 p.m. on Oct. 17.
Box score IWC 26 Waldorf 14