Football bounces back to beat Chicago, 28-12, at home
The Washington University football team was able to rebound from last week’s loss to claim a 28-12 win over the University of Chicago Saturday at Francis Field.
In a game riddled with turnovers, both offenses struggled to gain any momentum, and the game was scoreless after one quarter of play. Chicago was first to get on the board, driving down the field with an eight-play, 30-yard drive to set up a 38-yard field goal. Wash. U. was able to respond with a six-play, 54-yard drive of their own, resulting in an 11-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Ryan Arthur to senior wide receiver Marcus Ramspott.
Turnovers hit the Bears hard during the second quarter. With 8:53 left to go in the half, Arthur’s pass was intercepted and taken back for a touchdown to jump back ahead, 10-7. Arthur followed that drive with another interception, eventually being replaced by sophomore quarterback Johnny Davidson. Davidson, however, threw two more picks, adding to what was already a frustrating quarter for the Red and Green offense.
Meanwhile, the Wash. U. defense held strong, restricting Chicago to just seven
points on the four first half turnovers. With less than a minute to go in the half, Davidson punched in a one-yard touchdown run to give the Bears a surprising 14-10 lead going into halftime.
In the third quarter, the Bears looked to stretch their lead to double digits. A blocked punt by junior defensive lineman Tyler Landis set the Wash. U. offense up at the Chicago 17-yard line. Davidson immediately completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Mitchel Groen to put the Bears up, 21-10. The score was the first of Groen’s career.
The defense continued to stifle the Chicago offense. With the Maroon defense fatigued from being on the field for so long, Wash. U. put the nail in the coffin with a three-yard touchdown run from Davidson, set up by a 22-yard pass to junior wide receiver De Andre Wilson.
The playing time battle between Arthur and Davidson will be one to watch going forward. The two have produced similarly thus far, with Arthur completing 18-of-33 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown; Davidson has been slightly better, completing 18-of-24 for 172 yards and a score. Davidson has also been a weapon on the ground, leading the Bears with 97 rushing yards (6.6 per attempt) and two scores.
In a game filled with rough patches, the Bears managed to explode for 446 yards of total offense, while some strong defensive stands kept Chicago from capitalizing on Wash. U.’s turnovers. Chicago only scored two points during the entirety of the second half, on a safety.
The Bears’ first win of the season was especially sweet, as it came over the program’s biggest rival. With the victory, Wash. U. retains the Founders Cup, the yearly trophy given to the winner of the matchup since 1987, after defeating Chicago last season.
Wash. U. will hope to use this win as momentum entering big matchup next weekend as they prepare to host No. 15 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.