Defense once again was the story for the Briar Cliff football team as the Chargers defeated Hastings Saturday at Memorial Field, but the offense didn’t do so bad either as BC rolled 32-0.
The Chargers jumped out to a 14-0 lead after one quarter of play as Hastings had -2 yards of offense through the first 15 minutes. The Broncos sustained a few drives in the second half, but failed to put points on the board as the Blue and Gold recorded shutout No. 2 on the year. For the game, Briar Cliff outgained Hastings on offense 364-191.
“It was a great game by the defense,” head coach Dennis Wagner said. “It might also have been the best performance by our offense this season.”
One key factor for the offense was the return of freshman quarterback Preston Mulligan. Mulligan was back for his first time under center since the season opener and not only threw for his first collegiate touchdown pass, but also recorded his second and third. The Harlan, Iowa native finished 16-for-31 on the day for 185 yards and the three scores with one interception.
Rashad Brown was the main target with seven catches for 40 yards and two touchdowns. Mulligan’s first TD pass went to Jordan Williams on a screen pass as the running back went 39 yards to the end zone. Williams also scored a touchdown on the ground as he finished with 70 rushing yards.
Greg Henry was the leader in the backfield, turning his 17 carries into 81 yards and a score. Henry also hauled in two catches for 43 yards.
The balanced attack for BC helped the Chargers convert on all four red zone chances with touchdowns. The team ran 31 rushing and 31 passing plays for 179 and 185 yards, respectively. Meanwhile, the Hastings offense never made it to the red zone. The entire defensive unit for the Cliff played solid with Robert Robinson standing out once again with 14 tackles including 2.0 sacks. Asi Tupua also had 2.0 sacks as both players had a solo sack and teamed up for two more.
Peyton Bailey totaled 10 tackles in the game while also hauling in an interception. The Chargers picked off two passes as Khamren Davenport had the other. The defense caused one other turnover as Robby Huddleston forced a fumble on his lone sack of the day and Tupua scooped it up.
The win moved Briar Cliff to 5-3 this season and 4-2 in the GPAC. The Chargers are in a tie for third in the league standings with (RV) Dordt. Hastings continued to reel, after a 2-0 start to the season that had the Broncos receiving votes in the national polls the team now sits at 2-5 overall and 1-5 in the GPAC.
“We have a huge game coming up against #5 Northwestern,” Wagner noted. “It will be Senior Day so we’re hoping a ton of students and fans show up.”
The home portion of the schedule wraps up next Saturday in that contest with Briar Cliff kicking off against the Red Raiders at 1 p.m. at Memorial Field.