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Giveaways hamper Boxers in road loss to Dubuque

Spartans force five turnovers in a 16-10 victory over a road-weary Pacific squad


Turnovers proved costly last Saturday for the Pacific football team, as Dubuque forced the Boxers to cough up the ball five times in a 16-10 loss at Chalmers Field in Dubuque, Iowa.

Pacific outgained Dubuque offensively, 360 yards to 321, but defense ruled the day as neither team scored more than one touchdown. Pacific converted only half of its four red-zone opportunities and the Spartans forced five turnovers.

Despite the loss, head coach Keith Buckley said he was proud of the team on the first of back-to-back Midwest road trips.

“For the second game in a row, we put ourselves in a position to win at the end and couldn’t close it out,” Buckley said. “Finishing, in all aspects of our program, needs to be our focus moving forward. We look forward to getting another chance to come back to the Midwest and compete next week.”

Warner Shaw completed 28-of-40 passes for 222 yards but was intercepted four times. Caleb Roher was Shaw’s top target, catching six balls for 52 yards. Bobby Ladiges rushed 11 times for 51 yards as the Boxers netted 138 yards on the ground.

Pacific opened the scoring with a 29-yard Moses Villareal-Gomez field goal with 4:47 remaining in the first quarter, but Dubuque wasted little time striking back, as Zach Fry found Tyler Rutenbeck three plays into the Spartans’ next drive for a 64-yard touchdown.

It was the only time Dubuque found the end zone, but not the last time it would score. Curtis Prull connected on field goals late in the second and third periods to make it 13-3.

Turnovers stunted a number of scoring opportunities that could have shifted momentum. Pacific had the ball at the Dubuque 8-yard line with 7:20 left in the third, but a bad snap led to a turnover and, eventually, Prull’s third-quarter field goal.

The Boxers were at the Dubuque 31-yard line early in the fourth, but Zachary Marotta got in the way of Shaw’s pass, forcing Pacific’s third turnover. That led to Prull’s third field goal, a 22-yarder that gave the Spartans a 16-3 lead with 10:02 remaining.

A kickoff out of bounds and a 15-yard personal foul penalty allowed Pacific to start its next drive at the 50-yard line, which led to the Boxers’ only touchdown, a 20-yard run by Kamana Pimental that brought the Boxers within 16-10 with 7:30 left.

After a Spartans three-and-out, Brandon Harms returned the ensuing punt 30 yards, putting the Boxers at the Dubuque 30 to set up a potential winning drive. Instead, Oscar White nabbed Dubuque’s fourth interception of the game.

Chase Rogers led the Pacific defense with six tackles, including one for loss.

Pacific returns to the Midwest this Saturday, this time to face the University of Chicago at noon (CDT).

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