St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 14, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis football team claimed a share of the University Athletic Association (UAA) championship and retained possession of the Founders Cup with a 37-23 victory against the University of Chicago Saturday afternoon at Francis Field in St. Louis.
WashU picks up its ninth-straight home win and concludes regular-season play with a 6-4 mark, including a 5-3 mark in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) and a 2-1 mark in the UAA. Chicago ends its season with a 6-4 overall mark, including a 5-3 record in the SAA and a 1-2 mark in the UAA.
Prior to the contest, WashU honored its 20 seniors who played their last game at Francis Field. The Class of 2016 has an overall record of 23-18 (.561), including an 8-3 mark and an NCAA playoff appearance in 2013. The Bears also captured three UAA championships.
"To be able to come out and play a game like that was just absolutely awesome," said WashU head football coach Larry Kindbom. "That was so much fun and to see the seniors play that way."
Senior running back Cody Ratermann ran for a career-high 170 yards on 30 carries, as WashU totaled 582 yards of total offense. Junior running back Austin Smestad also ran for 77 yards and went over 1,000 yards for his career. Smestad ran for a season-high 277 yards with the win.
Junior quarterback J.J. Tomlin was 25-of-37 for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Tomlin set WashU single-season records for touchdowns (29), completions (289) and passing yards (3,363).
WashU scored on its first two possessions to jump out to a 14-6 lead with 4:17 left in the first quarter. Ratermann scored from a yard out on the Bears' opening possession. Senior Dylan Petre's interception led to the Bears' second score, a six-yard pass from Tomlin to senior wide receiver Matt McCareins.
Senior kicker Alex Hallwachs booted two field goals, an 18-yarder and 28-yarder, to give WashU a 20-9 lead at half.
Tomlin was 17-of-24 for 180 yards and a TD as WashU had 346 yards of total offense in the opening half. Ratermann had 91 yards on 16 carries, while Smestad gained 71 yards on eight carries in the first half.
Hallwachs booted a 30-yard field goal, his third of the game, and then senior tight end Mitch McMahon rumbled 40-yards on a reception from Tomlin to push the WashU advantage to 30-12 with 2:57 left in the third. McMahon added a 12-yard TD with 10:04 left in the fourth to push the lead to 37-15.
Senior defensive back Quincy Marting made a career-high 16 tackles, including 13 solo tackles. Marting also recorded his fourth interception of the season and 11th of his career. Senior linebacker Matt Goad added a career-high 12 stops, while freshman defensive back Grant Owen had a career-high nine tackles, four pass break-ups and an interception. Senior defensive back Dylan Petre also recorded his team-leading fourth interception of the season and fourth of his career.
Hallwachs converted 3-of-5 field goals and 4-of-4 extra points in his final game with the Red and Green. He tied the school and SAA record with the three field goals. Hallwachs finished his career as the WashU all-time leader in field goals (45) and extra points (97), and second in scoring (232).
WashU finished the season 5-0 at home, and has won its last nine games dating back to 2014. The Bears averaged 53.6 points and 544.0 yards of total offense per game this season at Francis Field.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU and Chicago met for the 34th time in school history, with the Bears holding a 22-12 edge … The Bears have won 15 of its last 16 home games … The UAA title for the Bears is their 11th in school history … WashU secured its 21st winning season under Kindbom … Hallwachs is 11th all-time in NCAA Division III history in field goals … Hammarlund moved into third place in school history in catches (134) and seventh in yards (1,741) … The Bears were 11-of-18 on third down, while limiting Chicago to 6-of-18.