Chicago, Ill., Oct. 25, 2014 – The Washington University in St. Louis football team continued its struggles on the road with a 44-23 loss at the University of Chicago in the University Athletic Association (UAA) opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at Stagg Field in the Windy City.
With the win Chicago regained possession of the Founders Cup, which commemorates the first football game played between two UAA schools. Washington U. had its seven-game conference-win streak snapped with the loss.
Chicago improved to 6-1 and captured its eight-straight home win, while Washington U. fell to 2-5. The Bears are 0-4 on the road this season, and have lost five-straight games away from home dating back to 2013.
Chicago, who entered the game leading the UAA in scoring defense (16.0) and total defense (236.8), limited Washington U. to 12 first downs and 334 yards of total offense in the win. The Bears also had five turnovers (four fumbles) in the loss.
After forcing a three-and-out on Chicago's opening drive, Washington U. answered back with a long pass that set up the first score of the game. Sophomore QB J.J. Tomlin connected with sophomore wide receiver Kevin Hammarlund for a 58-yard pass to get the Bears deep into Chicago territory, and then a 28-yard field goal by junior kicker Alex Hallwachs made it 3-0.
Chicago took just two plays to take the lead for good after a 65-yard rush by Syd Reynolds got the Maroons deep into WUSTL territory. The next play Chicago QB Nathan Ryan found Nathan Massey open for 17 yards to make it 7-3. After a Washington U. fumble deep in its own territory, Karol Kurdzydlowski added a 25-yard field goal to push the lead to 10-3.
The Maroons added a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter to build a 23-3 lead at half. Zak Ross-Nash scored from two-yards out on fourth down, and Ryan connected with Sam Cohen on a 44-yard TD pass.
Washington U.'s offense struggled in the first half with five first downs and 15 yards rushing on 12 carries. The Bears had four punts and turned the ball over three times in the opening half. WUSTL also struggled to stop the run, allowing 140 yards on 25 carries.
Chicago scored its first possession of the third quarter after a 15-yard TD run by Ross-Nash to make it 30-3 and put the game out of reach. Junior running back Cody Ratermann added a three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to trim the lead to 30-10.
Senior running back Zach Lonneman scored from 13 yards out with 5:00 to play, and senior tight end Chris Levine added a seven-yard touchdown reception from senior QB Alex Hodakowski on the final play of the game to round out the scoring.
Tomlin finished the day 19-of-33 for 244 yards, while Hammarlund added seven catches for a career-high 153 yards. Senior wide receiver Tim Bartholomew had two catches for 22 yards and went over 1,000 yards for his career.
Sophomore kick returner Dylan Newcomb had seven kickoff returns for 131 yards (18.7 average), and broke the single-season school record of return yardage. Newcomb has returned 33 kicks for 662 yards (20.1 avg.) this season, breaking the mark of 637 set by Chris Cerrato in 1988.
Senior defensive back Patrick Cantwell (12 tackles), freshman defensive Collin Holte (12 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss) and junior defensive back Quincy Marting (10 tackles, pass break-up) led the defensive unit for Washington U. Senior defensive back Joe Quinlan added a 77-yard INT return in the third quarter, while sophomore defensive back Dylan Petre also recorded his first career INT.
The Bears gave up 480 yards of total offense in the loss, including a season-high 329 yards on the ground. Ross-Nash ran the ball 22 times for 100 yards and three TDs.
Washington U. hosts Case Western Reserve University on Saturday, Nov. 1, in its only conference home game of the year. Kickoff is set for Noon (CT) at Francis Field.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. and the University of Chicago were meeting for the 33rd time in school history, with the Bears holding a 21-12 edge … WUSTL also leads the all-time series in the Founders Cup, 20-8, and had its three-game win streak against Chicago snapped … The Bears are 18-7 all-time in UAA openers under head coach Larry Kindbom … Washington U. has scored 20 or more points in seven straight games for the first time since 1998.