Quarterback Chris Hawkins threw for 220 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Buena Vista chalked up 304 yards of total offense, but No. 7-ranked Central College proved to be too much in the end, holding off the Beavers 31-14 here Saturday.
Hawkins connected with senior Devin Stewart for a 19-yard touchdown strike with 0:26 remaining in the opening quarter. Jamie Daum added the PAT, and BVU was on top early, 7-0.
The Flying Dutchmen wasted no time on the ensuing possession, capping off an eight-play 75-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown pass from Tim Connell to Jordan Leuschen nearly three minutes into the second quarter, tying the score at 7-7.
Connell threw his second touchdown pass of the game with 7:22 left before halftime when he found Cody Huisman for a 22-yard score. Jake Viggers added the PAT and Central moved in front, 14-7.
Late in the first half Connell and Leuschen hooked up yet again, this time from 26 yards out, as the Dutch took a 21-7 lead into the locker room.
Connell used his legs to give Central a 21-point lead when he found the end zone from two yards out, giving his team a 28-7 advantage with 9:16 left in the third quarter. Viggers added a 20-yard field goal later in the quarter to put Central up 31-7.
The Beavers fought back to start the fourth quarter when Hawkins threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Trent Svendsen, but that proved to be the game's last score, sending BVU to its third straight loss.
Beavers coach Jay Anderson said his team's defense played well 85 percent of the game. BVU ran 86 offensive plays to Central's 62.
"We played four quarters and didn't turn the ball over - for the first time all year," he said. "They hit three or four big plays, and we really didn't hit real big ones. We need to keep moving the ball like we have been but start to capitalize once we get inside the 30-yard line."
Hawkins completed 23-of-53 pass attempts, with no interceptions, in the contest to lead Buena Vista. Freshman Cory Donscheski lead BVU on the ground, carrying the ball 15 times for a career-high 75 yards, as Alex Moss followed with 39 yards on eight carries. The Beavers have improved on the ground for the second straight game, finishing with a season-high 84 yards on 32 attempts. Donscheski also added a team-high 61 yards receiving with a team-best seven receptions. Svendsen also added 61 yards on four catches, while Randy Kaufmann hauled in six catches for 55 yards.
Connell led undefeated Central, which finished with 341 total yards, by completing 18-of-29 pass attempts for 239 yards, to go along one interception. Vance Schuring carried the ball 13 times for 46 yards to lead the Dutch rushing attack. Huisman recorded a game-high 78 yards receiving on just three catches, while Lueschen finished with six catches and 61 yards.
Defensively, Cody Pierce led BVU (1-3, 0-3 IIAC) with 11 total tackles, including nine solo, to go along with one sack. Todd Schwartz followed with seven tackles.
Greg Altmaier recorded 14 total tackles, including 10 solo to lead the Dutch.
BVU has its homecoming date with Cornell this Saturday at 1 p.m.
The combined record of the Beavers' first four opponents is 17-1. The combined record of their next six foes is 11-17.
"We feel like we can win any game on our schedule but we're going to have to play well in all three phases," Anderson said. "We can't have a letdown and expect to get a win the rest of the way. Offensively we need to develop our run game. Defensively, we need to work on pass pressure with our defensive linemen, and then just tighten up the coverage."