Davidson Leads WashU Football Past North Park

Photos by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos
Photos by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos

Chicago, Ill., Sept. 29, 2018 – Junior quarterback Johnny Davidson had a career day in helping lead the Washington University in St. Louis football team to a 44-21 win at North Park University Saturday in Chicago. 

Davidson completed 37-of-41 passes for 452 yards and two touchdowns, and eclipsed 3,000 passing yards in his career. He ranks eighth in school history with 3,295 career passing yards.

WashU won its second-straight game to improve to 3-1 and 2-1 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW), while North Park dropped to 1-3 and 0-3 in the league.

"I thought it was a great performance by our team today. We have had some injuries and some guys really stepped up," said head coach Larry Kindbom,who picked up his 180thvictory at WashU. "Johnny had an outstanding day at quarterback, and our wide receivers stepped up and made some great catches and ran great routes. 

WashU's offense totaled a season-high 603 yards of offense, including 467 through the air. Senior wide receiver Jeff Dedeker had seven catches for a career-high 132 yards and a TD, while sophomore wide receiver Nick Cione (10 catches, 98 yards, TD) and senior wide receiver Matt Goldberg (six catches, 97 yards) approached 100 receiving yards.

The defense limited North Park to seven points in the second half, and held the Vikings to 33 percent (4-of-12) on third down. Senior linebacker Jake Coon had 13 tackles, while junior linebacker Jeff Gurley had seven tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

"Coach Fisher calmed our defense down after the first drive and we went back to the basics and played technique football," added Kindbom.

North Park took the opening drive for a TD, but WashU answered back with a pair of touchdown runs by junior running backs Emmanuel Engermann and John Fisher

The Vikings tied the game midway through the second quarter with a TD, and then an eight-yard TD run by senior running back Logan Bash and a 24-yard field goal by senior kicker Charles Coccia made it 24-14 at half.

Davidson connected with Cione for a nine-yard TD, and then Dedeker added a 23-yard TD reception in the third to extend the lead to 38-21. Coccia added a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter.

Special teams continued to improve as sophomore kicker Joe Rogan had eight kickoffs for 466 yards (58.3 average) with one touchback and also punted three times for a 38.7 average. Coccia, the CCIW Special Teams Player of the Week, was 3-for-3 in field goals and 5-for-5 in extra points.

WashU wraps up a two-game road trip at Elmhurst College (1-3, 0-3 CCIW) on Saturday, Oct. 6, at 1 p.m.

BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with North Park 2-1 … The interception for junior defensive back Justin DiCarlo was the third of his career … WashU was picked sixth in the CCIW Preseason Poll, while North Park was ninth.