Avila Holds Off Tigers in Opener
The 2009 First Down Classic in Platte City, Mo., turned out to be a defensive battle and the outcome was decided on special teams. Doane and Avila University met for the first time on Saturday afternoon and the Eagles were able to escape with a 9-6 victory over the Tigers.
Doane was limited to 201 total yards on offense while Avila collected 274 yards. Doane rushed for 129 yards, led by Jaremy Puthoff's 94 yards on 15 carries. Tim Reed added 37 yards on four carries. Avila was led by Damien Collins' 97 yards as the Eagles finished with 134 rushing yards.
The passing game went to the Eagles as Austin Cole completed 17-of-30 for 140 yards. Anthony Dunn was 12-of-31 for the Tiger, throwing for 72 yards. He was also intercepted three times.
Tim Reed and Eamonn Feeney led the Tigers with three receptions apiece. Avila was paced by Brian Witt's five receptions.
Place kickers took center stage in the game. Avila kicker, Andrew Korth, was 3-for-4 in his field goal attempts, hitting a long of 45 yards. Korth came away with Offensive Player-of-the-Game honors. Doane kicker, Andrew Nielsen, was 2-for-2 with a long of 39 yards. However, a low snap in the fourth quarter did not allow Nielsen to get a tying attempt off.
Nielsen put the Tigers on the board in the first quarter with a 36-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Korth gave Avila the lead with a 41 and 45 yard field. Avila built their lead to six with Korth's third field goal of the day in the third quarter. Nielsen closed the gap early in the fourth with a 39-yard field goal.
The Tiger defense was stout. Dalton Ryba led the attack, earning Defensive Player-of-the-Game honors. Ryba finished with 13 total tackles, including 10 solo. He also had a sack and a fumble recovery. Selau Sunia added 10 total tackles, seven solo, and a sack.
Doane's defense finished with three sacks on the day and forced one turnover. In total, the Tigers also had seven tackles for lost yardage.