Ravens defeat Rockford during homecoming

Tue, 2012-07-24 08:26 -- univcomm

There's no better Saturday to send the home crowd away with a victory than during homecoming weekend. The AU football team put an exclamation point on the weekend as they blew out Rockford College 56-19 at Macholtz Stadium. The 56 points was the most scored by a Raven team since they beat Hanover 56-42 at on Oct. 15, 1988. "We scored a bunch of points and we scored on special teams again," AU coach Steve Barrows said (Pictured - Senior defensive back Dan Welch finishes off a Rockford ballcarrier Saturday).

AU has scored on a blocked punt return the last two games after failing to do so in Barrows first 25 games at AU. Mike Baker returned both punts for scores. However, by the time Baker returned the blocked punt, AU already led the game 42-12.

AU's greatest quarterback, Terry Murawski, entered the Hall of Fame this weekend, but current signal caller Joel Steele is quickly closing in on several of his record.

Steele, who broke Murawski's single game completions record earlier this year, threw for 311 yards and five touchdowns on the day. The sophomore completed 22-of-39 passes in the game.

Murawski still holds nine passing records, but by next week that number could be reduced to six records.

Steele needs only four completions, 30 attempts and three touchdown passes to pass Murawski's season records of 163 completions, 290 attempts and 26 touchdowns.

Against Rockford, AU scored on its very first offensive play of the game when Brandon Gambill took a swing pass from Steele and went 35 yards. Eric Trauthwein scored on a 1-yard run and Jon Billups caught a 24-yard TD pass from Steele in the first 11 minutes to give AU a 21-3 lead.

Steele hooked up with Alex Gill (5 yards) and Gambill (25 yards) for two more TD passes in the second quarter as the Ravens led 36-12 at the half.

Steele's fifth TD pass was a 21-yarder to leading receiver David Vance. Baker's punt return gave AU a 49-12 lead after three quarters.

Backup quarterback Brian Bell connected with Brandon Roundtree for a 15-yard TD score to finish off the scoring.

AU finished with 419 total yards, including 393 passing. Vance led all receivers with nine catches for 129 yards.

Vance has tied John Bargfeldt for the third most receptions in a season with 56. Ted Williams holds the season record with 80 receptions in 1967, when Murawski was throwing the passes.

AU played without starting tailback Antonio Hickerson, who was injured in last week's game against Mount St. Joseph. Trauthwein led the rushing attack with 33 yards on nine carries.

Defensively, Doug O'Dell led the Ravens with 19 tackles, including four for losses. AU (6-1, 3-0 HCAC) returns to HCAC action next Saturday when the host HCAC defending champion Hanover College at Macholtz Stadium.

---Writer Justin Bates is the Sports Information Director for Anderson University.