Maroon Football Falls to WashU in Season Opener

Mike Martinson
Mike Martinson

CHICAGO – The University of Chicago football team began the 2019 season with a Saturday night game against traditional rival Washington University – St. Louis at Stagg Field. The visitors came out rolling offensively and did not let up in a 43-7 defeat of the Maroons.

WashU employed a hurry-up spread offense from the opening snap and reaped the benefits throughout the evening. With the defense spread out to contain big gains, the Bears found all the holes in the coverage. Quarterback Johnny Davidson's quick release connected with open receivers on quick hits on slants, sideline routes and in the flats. WashU preferred to attack the edges and avoided the middle of the field for the most part.

With the visitors picking up chunk yardage consistently on short and medium throws, the chains kept moving to set up scores. WashU's opening drive stalled out at UChicago's 20-yard line and the subsequent field goal was partially blocked. However, the Bears scored on their next five possessions to take a 30-7 halftime advantage.

The Maroons got onto the board at 16-7 past the mid-point of the second quarter. A 14-play, 75-yard drive featured a fourth-down pass reception by sophomore wide receiver Jacob Jackson to get into the red zone. Junior running back Mike Martinson capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown burst.

Play evened out in the second half as WashU was forced to punt for the first time on its initial possession. Linebackers George Coyle and Graham Repp teamed up for a 10-yard sack on third down.

UChicago held the ball for nearly 32 minutes after the first quarter. But the end zone proved elusive despite the offense converting 9 of 20 on third down and 2 of 5 on fourth down. The visitors racked up five sacks on the night, bringing unrelenting pressure on sophomore quarterback Jeffrey Jackson and keeping him on the run.

The scoring concluded with a pair of long WashU touchdown passes that traversed 85 and 37 yards in the second half.

All told, UChicago blocked one field goal and two PATs. The Maroons blocked six total kicks in 2018.

The Bears led total offense 561-278, which included 406 passing yards. UChicago passed for 201 yards and ran for 77. WashU converted 10 of 15 on third down (67 percent).

Martinson ran for 32 yards and a touchdown while catching three passes for 15 yards. Jeffrey Jackson completed 21 of 40 passes for 169 yards. Jacob Jackson tallied six catches for 51 yards. Senior Dante Nepa caught four passes for 63 yards. Four different Maroons had three receptions apiece.

Defensively, senior linebacker Henry Winebrake collected 11 tackles. Junior cornerback Ryan Montgomery posted nine tackles, including one for loss. Senior linebacker Zach Atiyeh and sophomore defensive back Mike Lawlor combined for 15 tackles.

NEXT GAME:

  • Saturday, Sept. 14 @ 1:00 PM – UChicago at Simpson College