MILWAUKEE, WI – The Wisconsin Lutheran Warriors used a 35-point outburst in the first quarter, as well as a strong defensive performance that produced six sacks, and seven fumbles, to defeat the Maranatha Crusaders, 56-6 on Saturday afternoon.
The Crusader offense, well off its average yardage of 329 yards per game, produced 202 yards total, and lost four of the seven fumbles during a chilly afternoon, but the team did have nearly as many first downs (16) as Wisconsin Lutheran (20) while controlling possession time with nearly an 11 minute advantage over the Warriors.
Wisconsin Lutheran raced out to a 21-0 lead at the 6:39 mark on three straight touchdowns on as many possessions, scoring their second touchdown on a blocked punt deep in Maranatha territory.
The Warriors kept their foot on the pedal though, scoring on every possession during the first quarter en route to a 35-0 lead, and the defense pressured sophomore quarterback Brandon McCormick (Edwards, IL), forcing two fumbles and several sacks.
The next quarter though, was a completely different story, as the Warriors were held scoreless, behind a stout defensive performance from Maranatha that halted a field goal attempt, and intercepted a pass, courtesy of freshman cornerback Clayton Morrison (Jefferson, WI), who leads the team this season with four.
But the offense failed to convert in the second and third quarters while Wisconsin Lutheran extended their lead to 42-0 on a 19-yard touchdown pass.
The last two Warrior touchdowns came in the fourth quarter on rushes of one and three yards, respectively, while Maranatha put their first points on the scoreboard with a 10-play, 73-yard drive with just 28 seconds left in the game.
The drive lasted 2:26, and McCormick connected with junior receiver Joe Manion (Watertown, WI) for 18 yards and freshman running back Clint Saxon (Watertown, WI) for 27 yards. McCormick finished off the drive with a nice two-yard pass to Morrison.
McCormick recorded 160 yards passing with a touchdown while Saxon finished with 52 yards rushing. Manion hauled in 57 yards receiving on four receptions.
Junior linebackers Jordan Dersch (Prattville, AL) and Ethan Kennon (Raleigh, N.C.) posted 12, and 11 tackles respectively, with Kennon recording a sack.
Freshman linebacker Ben Schulz (Lake Mills, WI) and senior linebacker Shane Saxon (Watertown, WI) finished with six tackles apiece, with Saxon posting a sack.
Maranatha faces Benedictine University on Saturday, November 9 at 12:00 p.m. for Parent’s Day.