Last Thursday night, the Drake University football team easily defeated Division II West Virginia Wesleyan with a score of 45-3 in the season opener at Drake Stadium.
Junior quarterback Ian Corwin scored three touchdowns — two rushing and one passing — along with completing eight out of 11 passes for 180 yards and 35 rushing yards on four attempts.
“I was very proud of our performance as a team against West Virginia Wesleyan,” said Danny Morales, senior defensive back. “Our offense was making explosive plays all game and our defense was very disciplined in doing our jobs to get our offense the ball back.”
Corwin helped the Bulldogs score on their first three drives of the game. Touchdowns scored by running backs Caden Meis, junior, and Cross Robinson, fifth-year, as well as Corwin helped the Bulldogs secure an early lead, 21-0 in the first quarter. Corwin scored his second rushing touchdown on a 28-yard run in the second quarter and then threw a 79-yard passing touchdown to wide receiver Colin Howard, junior. By the end of the first half, the Bulldogs were leading 35-0.
“Our performance against West Virginia Wesleyan was nothing I wasn’t expecting,” said Sebastian Adamski, first-year linebacker. “I knew we would dominate on all three phases of the game and show how much potential we have this year.”
In the second half, sophomore back-up quarterback Luke Bailey completed a nine-yard pass for another touchdown to fellow sophomore wide receiver Brandon Langdok, and a field goal was later scored at the end of the third quarter to make the score 45-0. West Virginia was able to put together a 13-play drive that resulted in the team’s only points of the game, but that too was eventually stopped by Drake’s defense.
Drake last played football in a shortened six-game Pioneer Football League spring season. They were unable to play one of those games, finishing with a 2-3 record.
“It felt really good to play in front of our fans. The addition of the fans always creates a positive atmosphere and having their support is appreciated by our entire team,” Morales said. “Having a more normal football season is very exciting and we are looking forward to taking advantage of this season.”
Adamski agreed with Morales, especially as a first-year playing college football for the first time.
“It was so awesome to run out of the tunnel to a crowd that’s as eager and excited as us to play,” Adamski said. “It was a dream come true to play in a D1 football game. Just being on the sideline is a huge motivation to work hard for when my opportunity comes.”
On whether he had to prepare any differently because of COVID restrictions, Morales said that they have “become less strict” over the last few months so his preparation for this season “was not drastically affected”.
“COVID did make our team more isolated and put an increased responsibility on us to make the right choices to protect the team,” Morales said. “But I was proud of our team’s ability to adapt to the situation and prepare for a great season.”
The team will travel to Bozeman, Montana to take on Montana State on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.
“I think our team just needs to keep focusing on improving every week and using the momentum from this game to go to Montana State with confidence,” Morales said.