by Steve Peterson
Bret Van Muyden caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Briar Cliff University quarterback P.J. Quiroga to give the Chargers a 7-6 halftime lead against Nebraska Wesleyan in a Great Plains Athletic Conference football game Oct. 27.
Van Muyden, a sophomore at BCU and a West Sioux alum, also had a kickoff return for 14 yards and a solo tackle. His touchdown came in the first quarter after Nebraska Wesleyan had a 6-0 lead.
Nebraska Wesleyan responded to their halftime deficit and pulled away for a 35-14 win at Memorial Field in Sioux City. The Prairie Wolves improved to 4-4 overall and 3-4 in the GPAC, while the Chargers are 1-8 overall, 1-6 GPAC.
Van Muyden’s score was the only time the Chargers were successful in the “red zone”, inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, in the first half, as they were turned away on two other chances by the Prairie Wolves’ defense.
The Chargers’ defense posted a solid performance, especially in the first half as they held the Prairie Wolves to 135 yards of offense and forced them into two turnovers on back-to-back-possessions. For the game, the Prairie Wolves finished with 340 yards, compared to 249 for the Chargers. Alfredo Vizcarra led the Chargers with 10 tackles, while Steven Trujillo had a team-high seven solo tackles and recovered a fumble.
Nebraska Wesleyan quarterback Tyler Francis was 17-for-24 passing for 197 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for another touchdown.
BC’s Quiroga was 23-for-39 passing for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Bryce Harsman finished with a game-high seven receptions. Michael Becker caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Quiroga in the fourth quarter for a 21-14 deficit.
Robert Wilson led the Chargers’ rushing game with 40 yards in 15 carries.
NWU out gained the Chargers in the rushing game, 164-61 yards.
BCU is at Midland University in Fremont, Neb., for a 1 p.m. game Nov. 3 in GPAC play. The Chargers host Morningside for their regular season finale at Memorial Field, at 1 p.m., on Nov. 10.