Slow Start Hampers WashU in Loss at No. 5 North Central

Photo by Larry Radloff/
Photo by Larry Radloff/

Naperville, Ill., Sept. 15, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis football team could not overcome a 22-point second quarter deficit in a 32-19 loss in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) opener at No. 5 North Central College Saturday in Naperville, Ill.

North Central improved to 2-0 and 1-0 in CCIW play, while WashU fell to 1-1 and 0-1 in conference play.

"Our kids played hard today. The big thing for us was to go at it one play at a time," said head coach Larry Kindbom. "We played to the final buzzer and very proud of our kids for competing."

The Cardinals had a 577-367 advantage in total offense and 36:57-23:03 in time of possession. WashU was also limited to 67 yards rushing on 24 carries.

Senior wide receiver Jason Singer had a big day with eight receptions for 156 yards and two touchdowns, while junior quarterback Johnny Davidson was 30-of-43 for 300 yards for two touchdowns. Davidson also picked off two times.

WashU trailed 15-0 after one quarter as North Central limited WashU to 28 yards of offense on 13 plays.

North Central had the ball almost the entire second quarter, and capitalized on a 19-play, 96-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown by Dominick Muoghaul to make it 22-0 with 4:02 left in the second.

WashU was limited to 64 yards of total offense in the first half and trailed 22-0. North Central piled up 320 yards in the first half and had the ball 21:47.

The Bears scored on their third-play of the third quarter after Davidson connected with Singer for a 66-yard touchdown pass to trim the lead to 22-7.

WashU's defense got the ball right back after senior defensive back Ben Marcus forced a fumble that was recovered by junior defensive Justin DiCarlo.

After a field goal by North Central, Davidson capped a 14-play, 74-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run to trim the lead to 25-13 with 7:17 to play.

Davidson connected with Singer for a 40-yard touchdown pass with 43 seconds left to round out the scoring.

Marcus led the Bears with 13 tackles and a forced fumble, while DiCarlo had nine tackles, two pass break-ups, a fumble recovery and his first career interception.

Davidson punted seven times for a 45.3 average, with a long of 55, and four inside the 20. He upped his career average to 41.4, second most among active punters in NCAA Division III. 

WashU returns home to host Carthage College (1-1, 1-0 CCIW) on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m., as part of Fall Festival and Alumni Day.

BEAR NOTEBOOK: North Central leads the all-time series with WashU, 5-1 … The Cardinals were picked first in the CCIW Preseason Poll while the Bears were sixth … WashU is 5-10 in games played after a bye week since 2004 … The Bears have lost their last five road games dating back to 2016.