West Liberty Hammers Urbana

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Dakota Conwell fired four touchdown passes and the West Liberty University defense forced Urbana into six turnovers here Saturday as the surging Hilltoppers threw a wet blanket over the Blue Knights’ Homecoming festivities with a 44-14 blowout at Blue Knight Stadium.

West Liberty (4-3, 4-2) was in control from the start. Conwell completed his first 5 passes to account for 58 of the Hilltoppers’ 64-yard touchdown drive on the game’s opening possession. Daree Goodwin’s one-handed grab of a 3-yard fade in the corner of the end zone put WLU ahead to stay.

The defense got into the act when D’Andre Muhammad picked off a Cale Burdyshaw pass and sprinted untouched into the end zone from 39 yards out for another West Liberty score later in the first quarter before Conwell and the explosive Hilltopper offense put the game out of reach in the second frame.

Conwell opened the second quarter with a 40-yard scoring strike to a wide-open Goodwin and followed that with a 34-yard TD pass to a leaping Dylan Potts to make it 27-0 at the break.

The halftime stats told a story of total domination with Conwell completing 13-of-17 passes for 202 yards and 3 touchdowns while the defense had forced Urbana (1-6, 1-6) into three fumbles and a pair of interceptions.

West Liberty picked up where it had left off when play resumed. Conwell scrubbed nearly 6 minutes off the clock with a methodical 96-yard, 11-play scoring march. He capped it with his fourth TD pass of the day – a quick screen to R.J. Thomas, who walked in unmolested from 9 yards out – before Shawn Carl closed out the third quarter scoring with a 31-yard field goal.

Leading 37-0 and facing a short week before Thursday night’s home game against West Virginia Wesleyan, head coach Roger Waialae rested his starters during the fourth quarter. Colby Speice got Urbana on the board with two late TD passes – 29 yards to La’Velle Spivey and 35 yards to Joseph Saffold. Goodwin capped a big day with his third TD grab, a 49-yarder from backup QB Dylan LaGarde.

Conwell had his best day as a Hilltopper, completing 16-of-24 passes for 232 yards and 4 TDs with no interceptions. Goodwin had 92 yards on his 3 touchdown catches while Anton McCallum had 5 grabs for 59 yards. Jeremiah Ortiz ran for 50 yards on 14 carries.

Burdyshaw and Speice combined to complete 27-of-42 passes for 278 yards and 2 TDs but also had 3 interceptions. Saffold led the Urbana receiving corps with 7 catches for 87 yards.

Kickoff for WLU’s Thursday night game against Wesleyan is set for 7 p.m. at West Family Stadium.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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