The Iowa Wesleyan football team hosted Martin Luther College this afternoon for their final home game of the season. The Tigers recognized their senior student-athletes prior to the start of the game, and were hoping to make their last game at home a victory. Iowa Wesleyan used 586 total yards of offense to cruise to a 38-0 shutout over Martin Luther and pick up their second win of the season.
The Tigers won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, giving Martin Luther the ball to start the game. The first two drives of the day ended in three and outs for each team. The Iowa Wesleyan defense forced another three and out for the Knights on their next drive, and the Tigers took over. IN their second possession of the game, they came away with a touchdown to open up the scoring for the day. Raul Alvarez (SR/Visalia, CA) connected with Jeremy Gomez (SR/Dinuba, CA) on a 28 yard completion to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead. Martin Luther ran 12 plays in their next drive, but the IW defense held up forcing a turnover on downs. Iowa Wesleyan took over on their own 35 yard line they were able to run three plays for 15 yards before the time expired in the opening period.
They began the second quarter on the 50 yard line, and quickly added to their lead. Raul Alvarez found Tanner Holder (SO/Urbandale, IA) open on their first play of the quarter and he ran for 50 yards to give Iowa Wesleyan a 13-0 lead after a failed extra point attempt. Both teams were unable to score over the next seven drives. Iowa Wesleyan regained possession with 3:50 remaining in the first half and started their drive at their own 34 yard line. They covered 66 yards and ran 11 plays ending in a touchdown for their third score of the game. Jaquez Hall capped the drive off with an eight yard rush to extend the Tiger lead to 19-0 and the final score of the first half.
Iowa Wesleyan began the second half by receiving the kickoff from the Knights. The Tigers turned the ball over on downs in their opening drive, but the defense was able to shut down Martin Luther in the next drive of the game. With 9:34 to go in the third quarter, IW took over at their 43 yard line. They ran 11 plays and drove 57 yards in 5:57 for their possession time. Iowa Wesleyan took a 25-0 lead with 3:45 left in the quarter when Dennis Beechum (SO/Conesville, IA) caught a three yard pass from Raul Alvarez. That was the only scoring play in the third quarter.
The Tigers would add two more touchdowns in the final period of play. Their first of the fourth quarter came with 11:35 on the clock. Jeremy Gomez scored on an 18 yard reception from Raul Alvarez to put IW ahead 31-0. They added another touchdown with 8:46 remaining in the game. Iowa Wesleyan began their drive on their own 21 yard line. The Tigers would need just one play during the possession, and they scored when Raul Alvarez and Jeremy Gomez connected for a 79 yard completion. After a successful extra point attempt, Iowa Wesleyan held a 38-0 lead over Martin Luther. Iowa Wesleyan's defense continued to keep the Knights from getting anything going and the 38-0 Tiger lead would be the final score of the game.
Jacquez Hall (FR/Memphis, TN) led the Tiger ground game with 20 carries and 93 yards in the game. He recorded one of the Tiger touchdowns on the day. Raul Alvarez finished the day with 24 completions and five touchdowns. Alvarez threw for 341 yards in his final home game as a Tiger. Jeremy Gomez led Iowa Wesleyan in receptions with seven on the day. He recorded three touchdowns and had a total of 164 receiving yards. On defense, Iowa Wesleyan was led by Jaiya Garcia (JR/Brentwood, CA). Garcia had six solo tackles and assisted on four other tackles for a total of ten on the day. He also forced a fumble in the win over Martin Luther. Andrew Terrell-Rodriguez (SR/Jonesboro, GA) was right behind him and finished with nine tackles, a forced fumble, fumble recovery, and a sack in his last game at Bob Evans Field.
Iowa Wesleyan will travel to Crown College next weekend for their final game of the season. Kickoff is set for 12 pm. With the win over Martin Luther, the Tigers are now 2-7 overall and 2-6 in UMAC play.