IWU football makes history in first-ever game

Indiana Wesleyan University football played the long-anticipated first game in program history vs. Taylor University on Saturday, Sept. 1. Over 6,000 fans packed Wildcat Stadium for the sold-out inaugural game. IWU led by 14 points in the first quarter and had a drive stall deep in Taylor territory trailing by 5 with 6 minutes to go. Taylor scored a late touchdown and won 43-31.

The day began at 11:30 a.m. with tailgating across from Wildcat Stadium. Shortly before kick-off, spectators observed pre-game ceremonies, which included three skydivers descending on the field to deliver the game ball, the National Anthem, a fly over and the coin flip. The game officially began at 4:00 p.m. with kickoff. 


Down 36-31, IWU forced a Taylor punt with 9:16 to play in the 4th quarter. On a 4th-and-9 play on the Taylor 38 and 6:16 on the clock, QB Zack Blair evaded the rush and attempted to run for the 1st down. He was stopped at the 30-yard line, just one yard short of extending the drive. Taylor followed with a 7-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a touchdown to give TU the 43-31 final score.


IWU had Wildcat Stadium rocking early with two first quarter touchdowns. Blair connected with WR Bryaden Smith for a 32-yard touchdown pass midway through the quarter. Three minutes later, Cameron Lauck returned a punt for 68-yard to give the Wildcats a 14-0 lead just 11 minutes into the game.


All four Wildcat touchdowns were plays of 32 yards or longer. Along with the two explosive plays in the first quarter, Dontea Henderson provided the big plays in the second half with touchdown catches of 57-yards and 79-yards. Henderson finished the game with 6 catches for 178 yards.


Indiana Wesleyan travels to Anderson (Ind.) next Saturday, September 8. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. To view the full IWU football schedule, visit http://www.iwuwildcats.com/schedule/54/22.

IWU is an associate member of the Mid-State Football Association and plays six MSFA members. Those games are not part of the conference slate. Besides the season opener against Taylor, IWU plays home games vs. MSFA members Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) and Saint Francis (Ill.) on Homecoming. IWU travels to MSFA members Siena Heights (Mich.), Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), and Concordia (Mich.), who finished No. 15 in the national polls in 2017.

To purchase IWU football tickets, visit www.iwuwildcats.com.


Indiana Wesleyan University
4201 S. Washington St.
Marion, IN 46953