Rome, Ga., Oct. 3, 2015 – Berry College scored 14 points off five Washington University in St. Louis turnovers as the Vikings posted a 20-13 victory over the Bears Saturday night at Valhalla Stadium in Rome, Ga.
Berry improved to 4-1, 3-0 in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), while WashU fell to 2-2, 1-2 in the SAA.
"We played hard in a great football environment, but came up short, said WashU head football coach Larry Kindbom. "We had some great opportunities to make plays, and did not convert against a good team.
Senior kicker Alex Hallwachs was the lone bright spot offensively for the Bears. He booted a school-record 53-yard field goal on the first possession of the game to put WashU up 3-0. The field goal tied a Southern Athletic Association (SAA) record, and is the longest field goal in NCAA Division III this season.
WashU's defense was outstanding in the first quarter allowing just three points and 88 yards of total offense. The Bears forced a punt on Berry's first three possessions.
Hallwachs connected again in the second quarter, this time from 46 yards out, as Wash regained the three-point advantage at 6-3 with 13:28 left in the second.
Berry QB Dale Jackson found Trey Ciresi open in the corner of the end zone twice in the second quarter as the Vikings took a 17-6 lead to half. Ciresi beat senior defensive back Quincy Marting on both touchdowns, leaping over the out-stretched arms of Marting.
WashU trimmed the advanced to 17-13 midway through the third quarter after junior quarterback J.J. Tomlin connected with senior tight end Mitch McMahon for a 15-yard touchdown pass. The TD allowed by Berry was its first in 12 quarters.
The Bears' defense was stellar in the second half for the second-straight week, allowing a 40-yard field by Berry's Mitchell Blanchard in the fourth quarter. WashU had one last chance to tie the game with less than two minute to play, but Tomlin was picked off at the WashU 49-yard line to end the threat.
Tomlin struggled behind center completing 26-of-45 passes for a TD and he was picked off five times. He went over 3,000 career passing yards in the defeat. WashU was limited to a season-low 319 yards of total offense, including 79 on the ground.
Berry totaled 402 yards of total offense with 26 first downs, and had a 38:40-21:20 advantage in time of possession.
Sophomore defensive back Nick Doctors made a career-high 13 tackles, including three tackles for loss. The Bears had two sacks and 12 tackles in the defeat, and forced eight punts.
WashU returns home to host Rhodes College (3-1, 1-1 SAA) Saturday, Oct. 10. Game time is set for 6 p.m., and it will be Sophomore Spirit Day.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: Berry has won the last two meetings between the two teams and leads the all-time series 2-1 … The Bears have lost eight-straight road games dating back to 2013 …. WashU allowed its first pass sack of the season.