The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student


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UND Football Gets Back on Track

Garrett Webber

After two rough outings, the UND football team looked to get moving in the right direction again Saturday in its Homecoming game against the Western Illinois Leathernecks. Western Illinois came into the bout winless and would leave that way too. 

The Fighting Hawks started the game with a dominant touchdown drive, using 7 plays to march 69-yards in under three minutes. The opening drive was wrapped up in typical fashion for UND this season, with a 1-yard touchdown run from Quincy Vaughn (Sr.). 

The UND defense, which has been dominant at the Alerus Center this season, quickly forced a three-and-out on the Leathernecks’ opening possession.  

Later in the first quarter, UND found itself starting a drive at midfield after a Leatherneck turnover-on-downs. The Hawks would swiftly go the remainder of the field, using four run plays to get back on the scoreboard. This scoring drive ended with two designed runs for quarterback Simon Romfo (So.).  

At the end of the first quarter, the Hawks had outgained the Leathernecks by a significant margin, garnering 153-yards while only allowing 2, which would be a theme throughout the rest of the game.  

UND would put together another impressive drive before the end of the first half, getting some in-game work on the team’s two-minute drill. The Fighting Hawks would get the ball on their 25-yard line with just over two minutes remaining in the half and quickly go the length of the field. The 75-yard drive ended a 6-yard Tommy Schuster (Sr.) run, giving the home team a 21-3 lead going into halftime. 

Throughout the second half, UND would continue to separate from the Leathernecks. The Leathernecks received the kick to start the half but wouldn’t maintain possession for long. UND linebacker Ted Mullin (Gr.) intercepted a Western pass on the first play of the half and took it 33-yards to the house. 

Throughout the second half, UND would continue to separate from the Leathernecks. After forcing yet another Leatherneck punt, the Hawks would continue their trend of long, sustained drives in this game.  

Starting on their own 20, UND would methodically go the distance, ending the drive with another Simon Romfo touchdown run. After producing in big spots for the Hawks, UND fans could expect to see more of the Langdon native in the backfield in the following weeks. 

UND went on to score on each of its next two possessions. The final score for the Hawks was another Romfo run, but this time not Simon. Grant Romfo (So.), twin of Simon Romfo, found the endzone on a 4-yard touchdown run. Both brothers scored their first collegiate touchdowns and will look to produce more moving forward for the UND program.  

The final score would be 49-10, with the Fighting Hawks moving to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in Missouri Valley play, and the Leathernecks slipping to 0-5.  

Schuster completed 17 of his 23 passes, throwing for 206 yards, which was the number of yards allowed by the UND defense on Saturday. 

Gaven Ziebarth (So.) lead the UND backfield in carries and yards, running 7 times for 78 yards. Donavan Hunt (So.) added 38 yards on 3 carries, Luke Skokna had 24 yards on 4 touches, and Isaiah Smith (Jr.) gained 22 yards on 2 carries.  

Simon Romfo had 4 carries, 34 yards, and a pair of scores. Grant Romfo turned 2 carries into 11 yards and a touchdown.  

Jack Wright (Jr.) led the UND receiving corps with 3 catches for 51 yards. Red Wilson (Sr.) had 2 catches, gaining 40 yards.  

UND has its most anticipated opponent of the season coming to the Alerus Center next week, facing off with their in-state rival, the NDSU Bison on Oct. 14 at 1 pm. NDSU has won the last five meetings against the Hawks. UND will be looking for its first win over the Bison since 2003. 


Garrett Webber is a Dakota Student General Reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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