Category Archives: Football

Eagles conquer UMAC but can’t best Tommies

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by Kaitlyn Martens

The University of Northwestern men’s football team’s season came to an end during an NCAA Division III playoff game against the University of St. Thomas. Though St. Thomas took home the win in the first round of the playoffs, the Eagles can look beyond the loss and look back at just how much they accomplished this season.

“The key to our young offensive success was the patience of the coaches,” said Kirk Talley. “We knew that they were young and that it would be a matter of time as it always is; however, with less experienced players, it takes longer as they don’t have the game experience behind them, just practice.”

The team experienced social challenges, injuries, and players leaving, but they  didn’t let this stop them. “Relationship is the strongest aspect of our program,” stated Talley. “Players leaning on each other and coming together. In social situations, one could not tell the difference between our freshmen and seniors.”

Mid-way through the season, the Eagles traveled to Duluth to take on the College of St. Scholastica. The UMAC Game of the Week was snagged by the Eagles, breaking Scholastica’s 35-game conference-winning streak and 18-game-home winning streak. “It was a big deal to beat Scholastica after coming close for a couple of years,” said Talley. “However, we had to get back to work the next week as we played a really good Westminster team. The celebration was short lived.”

FCA-feature-imageAfter winning the next two games, the Eagles traveled to Eureka, Illinois, to battle for the UMAC conference title. Heading into the game, both teams were 7-1 in the conference. The Eagles scored in every quarter, including a 20-point fourth quarter, leading the Eagles to capture the UMAC conference title, the first time since 2008. It is a moment the team will remember forever. “For me personally,” said Talley. “It was a joy to see the players have fun and celebrate. I rejoiced for the upperclassman who had come close in the two previous years. There was a lot of noise and celebrating in the locker room.”

After snagging the UMAC conference championship title in Eureka, the team had a bye week before finding out who they would be paired against in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

The Eagles traveled down the road to St. Paul to make a debut for the first time in the NCAA playoffs and to take on the University of St. Thomas. The team battled hard for 60 minutes, but fell short to St. Thomas. “We did our best to keep things the same,” stated Talley. “We made sure to emphasize to the guys that we were going to be in the game until 0:00. We did that. Even though we were down by a lot of points, the men never quit and finished strong. I was proud of the way they played the entire game.”

This team of course plays football, but something that is more importantly emphasized, and something that is unique about this team, is the relationship aspect is very important. “I knew we had a special group, and they are all special,” said Talley. “When we were on our first overnight road trip, we did not have to have movies going to contain the craziness. Instead, they talked and sang with each other, every overnight road trip, which was very cool to watch.”

Playing for the glory of God is another part of Eagles football that makes this team so unique. “Playing for God and in His presence is the most important aspect of our program,” said Talley. “Nothing is ‘enforced.’ When we have a season like this, most of the men live out their lives in ways that are pleasing to Him. Fifth quarter is one way it is brought out. The other, and maybe most significant, is our breakaway retreat. It is there that we find out that we, as human beings, are about relationships first and foremost. Horizontal and vertical relationships.”

“These players had more fun, just being together than any team I have coached,” said Talley. “That was the difference this season. We lost the right game and won the right game this year.”

Athlete Profile: Jacob Fettig

Year: Junior
Major: Biology
Position: Running Back
Football Number: 21

Q: What sport would you play if you didn’t play the sport you currently play?
A: If I didn’t play football, I would definitely play soccer. I played soccer competitively for most of my life and still play as much pickup soccer as I can. I don’t know why most football players don’t like soccer, because American football was derived from soccer.

Q: What’s your pregame song that gets you pumped up?
A: “Can’t Tell Me Nothin” by Kanye West always pumps me up. But I usually don’t listen to music pre-game, just after a win, in which case I listen to T-Pain.

Q: Do you have any pregame superstitions or rituals?
A: I always take a couple of showers before any game. For away games, the first thing I do when we get to the field is walk from end zone to end zone and score some touchdowns. “I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious” – Michael Scott.

Q: Do you have any sports horror stories? What has been your most embarrassing moment in your athletic career?
A: In high school, I dislocated my shoulder while running a race at a track meet. I fell over a hurdle and I ended up needing surgery to fix the damage. It was super embarrassing because the next heats got delayed like five minutes because I was lying on the track while the trainers popped my shoulder back in.

Q: What professional athlete do you admire and why?
A: One professional athlete that I admire is Steph Curry, because the best defense is a great offense. Also he is a sweet dude based on what I know about him. I unfortunately don’t know him personally though.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do besides your sport?
A: When I’m not doing athletics there are a lot of different things I like to do. I love to read, I love watching Seinfeld, looking at sneakers, being around lots of people, eating, singing, but I think my favorite thing to do outside of athletics is hiking and camping or anything else outdoors; real camping in a tent where you sleep on the ground and are far away from electricity.

Q: If you could be a part of another clique on campus, what group would you choose and why?
A: If I could be part of another clique on campus I would definitely choose the end lounge couples. I love being the third wheel.

Q: What would you change about UNW if you could?
A: If I could change one thing about UNW it would be split into two schools, one all guys school and one all girls school.

Q: What is your favorite food/band/childhood toy?
A: My favorite food is easily crunchy peanut butter, and it is not close. It makes almost anything better, and is amazing straight out of the jar as well. My favorite band is Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, they rock. I have seen them live twice and both shows were amazing. My favorite childhood toy would have to be the Darth Maul double-bladed lightsaber that I got for Christmas when I was five. I remember battling my brother and cousin for hours.

Q: Finish these sentences: I wish I could… I don’t think I’ll ever…Behind my back people say…
A: I wish that I could travel more, read more and own more shoes. I don’t think that I will ever achieve my dream of playing in the NBA. Behind my back people say: “He is young and not getting it” or “He actually exists” or “He needs to shut up.”

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Offensive line powers UNW football to victory

by Daniel Appel

After taking their first loss of the year against St. Scholastica, the University of Northwestern football team unloaded its power on a hapless University of Minnesota-Morris squad for homecoming weekend. Quarterback Jake Fletcher threw two touchdowns and running back Chris Simon-Wallace added two scores on the ground, leading the way to a commanding 33-0 Eagles victory. The Eagle defense also stepped up, sacking the winless Cougars four times and forcing three turnovers.

On October 18, UNW took on Greenville, a team they had not defeated in 14 years. Despite getting off to a sluggish start and trailing 14-28 at halftime, Northwestern roared back in the second half. Behind four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown from Fletcher, the Eagles took the lead with 26 seconds to go in the game. Greenville promptly threw an interception on their next drive, ending the game and giving the Eagles a 35-28 victory. Wide receiver Joe Sutton made his way into the UNW record books, recording three touchdowns in the game and was awarded the UMAC offensive player of the week.

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Meet the team: Joseph Sutton, Josh Sinnen, Nathan Van Zee and TJ Palme share about football, Northwestern and breakfast

Joseph Sutton

Major: EMC, broadcasting
Year: Junior
Position in football: Wide receiver

Who has been the biggest influence/support in your football career?

My biggest influence was definitely Chris Carter, because he had some the best hands and routes in the NFL, so I mirrored my game after him. My biggest supporters were definitely my dad and my uncle. They helped train me over the summer and drove/ flew with me to all these different football camps when I was in high school. Even though we did not have much and they were always busy they found time to come to almost every single game I played, high school and college.

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Eagle football electrifies at the new Reynolds Field

by Daniel Appel

The lights were bright, the bleachers were packed and the newly-renovated Reynolds Field was christened with its first football game, resulting in an Eagle victory on Sept. 6. UNW faced off against St. Olaf College, who plays in the MIAC conference.

After trailing since the second quarter, senior quarterback Jake Fletcher led his team on a 12 play, 89 yard drive, which finished with a five yard touchdown pass to running back Jacob Fettig.

From there, the defense held its own breaking up a pass as time expired, giving the Eagles a 17-16 win. With the experienced Fletcher at the helm, the Eagles offense put up over 400 yards against St. Olaf.

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