Five turnovers and two missed field goals were too much to overcome for Briar Cliff as the Chargers fell to Doane 17-7 in GPAC football action Saturday in Crete, Neb.
The rushing attack for BC controlled the pace of play in the first half, putting up 129 yards on 22 carries through 30 minutes, yet Doane led at the break 10-0.
“This was a very disappointing loss for our program,” said Briar Cliff head coach Dennis Wagner. “We had several opportunities on offense, defense and special teams.”
The Tigers were aided by a fumble, a missed field goal and an interception at the one yard line in the first half. Jacob Diaz started at QB for Briar Cliff and was just 2-of-6 passing for 25 yards. Cole Hanafan came in to start the second half and immediately sparked the Chargers with a 70-yard touchdown pass on his first throw. Hanafan found Rashad Brown on third down to bring the Blue and Gold to within three points at 10-7.
Momentum seemed to be in favor of Briar Cliff as the Chargers defense forced a three-and-out by Doane and then a blocked punt set the Cliff offense up in the red zone at the Tigers 17 yard line.
Logann Freeman would haul in a Hanafan pass to give the Chargers a first-and-goal at the Doane 7, but the second interception of the day for Doane thwarted any plan of taking the lead by BC.
The Charger defense continued to hold its own and gave the team chances to fight back, but with 4:18 to go in the third quarter the Tiger defense picked off another Hanafan pass deep in Doane territory and this time around the Tiger offense pitched in with a 92-yard drive ending with a 44-yard TD pass to go up 17-7.
Briar Cliff drove the ball into the red zone on its next possession but stalled out and a 34-yard field goal attempt by Noah Ylagan went wide left. The next time BC was set to get the ball, a fumble on a punt return seemingly ended any real shot for the Chargers in the contest.
Doane outgained the Cliff 391-316 with a heavy advantage through the air, 259-157. Briar Cliff had more rushing yards, finishing with 159 compared to Doane’s 132. The Chargers were flagged five times for 45 yards. The Tigers had 53 penalty yards on eight infractions. Briar Cliff was 5-for-11 on third down and 0-for-2 on fourth down tries. The Tigers were 7-of-16 on third down and failed on their only fourth down attempt.
Hanafan finished the game 7-of-17 passing for 132 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Brown led the team in receiving yards with his lone catch being the 70-yard score. Khamren Davenport has two catches for 27 yards. Freeman and Elijah Brown were the only other receivers with multiple catches, each finishing with two. Freeman had 15 yards and Brown was credited with 13 yards. Tarik Ballard and Adonte Maxie each hauled in one pass, going for 19 and 13 yards, respectively.
Doane’s Jack Kalina was 25-of-37 passing for 259 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His top target was Josh Baker, who finished with five catches for 82 yards and a score. Tiger running back Garrett Sonderup led all rushers with 107 yards on 26 carries. Chayton Crow had 26 yards and a touchdown on the ground for Doane.
Leading the rushing attack for the Blue and Gold was Kwame Johnson with 75 yards on 17 runs. Ylagan carried the ball nine times for 57 yards and Maxie added 22 yards on seven tries.
Briar Cliff’s Tyler Wilson and Peyton Bailey led all players in tacklers with 10. Wilson had seven solo tackles and one tackle for loss. Bailey had five solo tackles, one tackle for loss and an interception.
The loss puts Briar Cliff at 5-3 overall and 3-3 in conference play. The Chargers travel to Sioux Center, Iowa next week to face off with Dordt (5-2, 4-2 GPAC). Doane improved to 4-3 overall and 3-3 in the GPAC.
“The schedule ahead will be a true test of character of us,” Wagner said.