MEQUON, Wis. – Austin Damaschke and Garrett Wenzelburger were unstoppable on Saturday afternoon, as both set individual program records for yards in a game at Tomasini Stadium. Concordia University Wisconsin subsequently cruised by Lakeland College for a 45-28 victory to retain the Cheese Bowl trophy for the third-consecutive year.
Damaschke set the program record for passing yards in a game with 425 and total offensive yards with 536 in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference contest. Wenzelburger set the program record with 219 yards receiving. The Falcons also set a game record with 98 offensive plays.
CUW (5-2, 3-0 NACC) spotted the Muskies 14 points after the opening quarter before slamming its foot on the accelerator and scoring 35 unanswered points in just two quarters of play.
While the offense was having fun, the Falcons defense was making a statement for the first time in two weeks. During a seven-drive stretch they forced three punts, intercepted two passes, caused a fumble and stopped the Muskies on downs.
Senior Ben Kempen (Malone, Wis.) and freshman QuRon Hall (Jacksonville, Fla.) each picked off their second career pass to help CUW set the tone defensively. The defensive unit also broke up six passes, which was a season high.
Senior Taylor Witty (Milwaukee, Wis.) set a career-high with three tackles for loss, forced his third career fumble and broke up his second career pass. Sophomore Austin Kaatz (Pewaukee, Wis.) recovered a fumble and junior Uzziel McDermit (Kansasville, Wis.) finished with two tackles for loss.
It was CUW's most balanced game this season, as it moved into sole possession of first place in the conference with three games to play.
Damaschke (Bristol, Wis.) wasn't as efficient as normal with a 28-for-50 effort and one touchdown, but his damage was done with his legs. The junior ran for a career-high 111 yards and four touchdowns.
Wenzelburger (junior, Hartland, Wis.) hauled in 12 passes and found the end zone once. It was his third game of the season with double-figure catches and over 100 yards.
The Falcons offense was more than a two-man show during the cool and windy afternoon. Senior James Saunders (Riverview, Fla.) caught six passes for 78 yards, while senior Cody Johnson (Brookfield, Wis.) had four receptions for 70 yards. Sophomore LaCurt Evans (Bloomingdale, Ill.) also had five catches for 44 yards, to go along with 39 rushing yards, a touchdown and 66 kickoff return yards.
CUW finished 13-of-20 on third down conversions and converted 7-of-7 attempts in the red zone.
Dylan Van Straten led the Muskies (4-3, 2-1 NACC) with 281 yards passing and two touchdowns, while running for a game-high 164 yards and a pair of scores. He connected with Kezlow Smith six times for 141 yards and a touchdown.
Yaphay Harvey led all players with 13 total tackles, eight solo, and Trevor Tanck recorded a game-high two sacks, to go along with four tackles for loss to lead the Muskies defense.
CUW returns to the field on Saturday, Nov. 2 for a 12 p.m. NACC matchup at Rockford University.