No. 4 C.M. Wright helped by turnovers in 7-6 victory Defense lifts Mustangs over No. 11 Loyola


No. 11 Loyola scored on its first play -- a 64-yard pass from Brant Hall to tight end Art Price. It also held visiting C. Milton Wright's All-Metro receiver, Duane Fisher, to no catches.

But No. 4 C. Milton Wright (3-0) forced four turnovers, as Loyola (0-2) lost, 7-6, and blew a lead for the second straight game.

Ted May's third-quarter recovery of a fumble by Tim Nicholas at Loyola's 43 led to the Mustangs' five-play, 52-yard scoring drive, capped by Jason Stiles' 13-yard run, and Chris Russell's kick with 5:17 left.

On the Dons' ensuing possession, Paul Moshonisiotis recovered fumble by Matt Smith (16 carries, 85 yards) at the C. Milton Wright 25. Nick Joines (fumble recovery), Rayn Bodway (a sack) and Jake Kramer (blocked punt) also contributed, and Fisher's interception with 58 seconds left ended the Dons' final drive.

"We were slow to start, but later on we stuck it to them. We've got a nice 'D' this year," said May, a senior linebacker.

Fisher (6 feet 4, 190 pounds), who credited Loyola's "nice over-and-under coverage," helped contain the Dons' tall receivers, Price (four receptions for 89 yards), Burch (6-5, 245) and Todd Pivec (6-3, 225).

Loyola coach Joe Brune, whose Dons lost last week, 9-8, to Gonzaga with 1:17 left, said, "At critical times, we just made the kinds of mistakes you can't."

Mustangs coach Steve Harward blended a ground attack with (( the passing of Todd Shilow (9-for-22, 77 yards), who often found Pete Fountain (five receptions, 37 yards) or Chris Russell (three, 28 yards).

"We anticipated them concentrating on Duane," Harward said, "so we took what they gave us and just worked the ball around."

Shilow's passing opened up an effective draw play, enabling 5-7, 165-pound Todd Behler to churn out 110 yards on 25 carries behind the blocking of Brian Rodrigues, Rob Bennett, Scott Rudolph, Chris Lau and sophomore Andy Luffburrow.

"We kept their linebackers off guard, and I could make some nice cuts," Behler said. "The line gave me a series of blocks that I kept riding out."

The Dons also hurt themselves with five minutes left in the game. Price's 41-yard reception appeared to have landed him safely on the Mustangs' 1, but it was nullified after officials ruled he had bumped Fountain.

C. Milton Wright also didn't capitalize on excellent scoring chances, twice in the second period and once in the fourth.

In the second period, Joines recovered Kramer's blocked punt at Loyola's 22. Russell's 39-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide four plays later.

Then the Mustangs drove 59 yards in six plays to Loyola's 31. But on a fourth-and-inches at the 21, the Mustangs were penalized 5 yards for encroachment.

With 5:55 left in the game, they were held on fourth-and-inches at Loyola's 25.

"Loyola made some great plays," Harward said. "It was a quality game by both teams."

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