Vikings can't overcome early deficit in 20-10 loss to Minnesota Duluth

Ryan Conwell

Sept. 30, 2006

Final Stats

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Quarterback Ted Schlafke threw for 329 yards and a touchdown as University of Minnesota Duluth defeated Western Washington University, 20-10, in a North Central Conference football game Saturday at Civic Stadium.

It was the third straight loss for the Vikings, who dropped to 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the NCC. It was Western's fourth consecutive game against a team that reached the NCAA Division II playoffs last season. Minnesota Duluth improved to 4-1 overall, 2-1 in the NCC.

Schlafke completed 25-of-38 passes, including an 8-yard scoring toss to Greg Aker in the first quarter that helped the Bulldogs take a 10-0 lead just 6:51 into the game. Schlafke threw for 204 yards in the first quarter alone.

UMD extended its lead to 17-0 in the second quarter as receiver LaShawn Bullock took an option pitch to the left and flipped a pass to Aker in the end zone for an 8-yard score.

UMD had a 288-57 edge in total offense in the first half, and finished the game with a 370-248 advantage.

Western reached the scoreboard on its opening possession of the second half, marching 69 yards in 12 plays, capped by a 3-yard pass from quarterback James Monrean (Sr., Bellingham/Sehome) to tight end Logan Cullen (So., Anacortes), narrowing the margin to 17-7.

UMD extended its lead to 20-7 late in the third quarter on a 28-yard field goal by Britt Baumann, who also hit a 32-yarder in the first period. Baumann successfully converted both his extra-point tries in the contest, giving him a school-record 46 successful conversions.

Western again closed to within 10, 20-10, on a 29-yard field goal by Robby Smith (So., Bellingham) early in the fourth quarter, but Smith missed from 47 yards on the following series with 5:40 to play. The Bulldogs then ran nine plays before being forced to punt with 1:35 left, and a fumble on the punt return was recovered by UMD's Dan Kitsberger, allowing the Bulldogs to run out the clock.

Schlafke has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in a school-record 17 straight games for UMD.

Running back Calvin McCarty (Jr., Surrey, BC/St. Thomas More) was the main cog in Western's offense, rushing for 96 yards on 22 carries and having six receptions for 47 yards. Monrean completed 14-of-20 passes for 172 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, snapping a string of 106 pass attempts without an interception.

Western committed three turnovers after not having a turnover in the previous three games.

Linebacker Shane Simmons (Jr., Kent/Kentlake) led the Western defense with 12 tackles, including three for loss. Defensive end Matt Overton (Sr., Tracy, CA) batted down three passes.

The Vikings travel to St. Cloud, Minn., to face St. Cloud State on Sat., Oct. 7 (3 p.m. CDT). St. Cloud State lost at Central Washington, 24-14, on Saturday.

Minnesota Duluth    10   7   3  0  --- 20
Western Washington   0   0   7  3  --- 10
UMD - FG Baumann 32
UMD - Aker 8 pass from Schlafke (Baumann kick)
UMD - Aker 8 pass from Schlafke (Baumann kick)
WWU - Cullen 3 pass from Monrean (Smith kick)
UMD - FG Baumann 28
WWU - FG Smith 29
Attendance: 2285