Wartburg College rolled up 212 yards of the rushing variety and outscored Buena Vista 28-0 in the third quarter, quickly turning a 10-0 halftime advantage into a 38-0 Iowa Conference rout over the Beavers Saturday at Walston-Hoover Stadium.
It was the Beavers' first shutout loss since being blanked 13-0 in the season opener at Bethel last season. It's only the third time BVU has been held scoreless since the start of the 2001 season. That year was also the last time Wartburg shutout BVU (35-0).
Buena Vista's defense kept the team in the game throughout the first half, but the lack of offensive production caught up to the Beavers in the second half. All told, the Knights outgained BV 482-207.
"Our guys played hard but we didn't use all the technique stuff we've worked on since Aug. 12," said Buena Vista coach Jay Anderson. "At times we weren't gap sound. It seemed like every play we had one miscue at the point of attack that really cost us ... we gave up nine sacks.
"It wasn't one guy - they brought a lot of pressure."
The Knights (2-0, 1-0 IIAC) got on the board with 2:32 remaining in the first quarter when sophomore quarterback Nick Yordi connected with Kyle Duchman on a four-yard touchdown pass. Spencer Herzer added the PAT to make it 7-0.
The Beavers (1-1, 0-1) went three-and-out on their first two possessions of the game before driving down to the Wartburg 34-yard line on their third series. A sack of quarterback Chris Hawkins on 3rd-and-11 forced BVU to punt, and junior Mike Sly pinned the Knights back at their own 17.
Buena Vista had its best scoring opportunity of the afternoon when Brian Nystrom intercepted a Yordi pass on the ensuing Wartburg possession at the Knights' 46. Following a first down rush by freshman Cory Donscheski, the Wartburg defense went on to record yet another sack of Hawkins on third down, forcing the Beavers to punt for the fourth time in the game's first 18 minutes.
The Knights began the ensuing drive on their 13-yard line before marching down to the BVU 23. Herzber then came on and connected on a 40-yard field goal attempt, giving Wartburg a 10-0 lead at the half.
BVU began the third quarter with the football at its own 25. The Beavers marched to the Wartburg 48 before Hawkins had his pass attempt intercepted - one of three picks on the day by the Knights defense - and Wartburg took advantage just three plays later when Josh VanRees scampered for a 36-yard touchdown, extending the lead to 17-0.
After BVU went three-and-out and was forced to punt on its ensuing possession, Wartburg found the end zone for the second time in less than four minutes when Neil Suckow rushed for seven yards and a touchdown - capping a three play, 41-yard drive.
Wartburg added two more touchdowns in the quarter to put the finishing touches on its conference-opening victory.
"Give (Wartburg) credit, they executed," Anderson said. "They have very good size and they use speed to their advantage."
VanRees led all rushers with 12 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown as Tim Jones followed with 53 yards on 11 carries. Suckow scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in the contest while finishing with only 41 yards on 11 carries.
Yordi completed 17-of-33 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns for the Knights. Ryan Hoerner caught four passes for a game-high 94 yards.
Donscheski rushed 11 times for 23 yards for BVU, which finished with only 12 net yards on the ground.
"They just attacked us," Anderson said. "They put one extra defender in the box. What allows them to do that is they have two of the best corners we'll see all year."
Hawkins completed 16-of-28 passes for 144 yards; Donscheski caught seven passes for a team-best 31 yards.
Defensively, Wartburg was led by Blake Suckow's 7.5 total tackles and one interception. Kyle Goodchild followed with seven tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, and 1.5 sacks.
BVU was paced by senior newcomer Rahn Franklin Jr., who recorded a career-best 8.5 total tackles, while Cody Pierce followed with eight.
BVU hosts Coe this Saturday at 1 p.m.