UWM Ousts Loyola

Club football team wins big

On a chilly Saturday afternoon with roughly 100 in attendance at Don Forti stadium, located at the University School of Milwaukee, the UW-Milwaukee Panthers club football team ousted the Loyola Chicago Ramblers 42-17. 

Despite losing 12 of their starters this year – three because of academics and nine because of season ending injury – the Panthers improved to 2-2 on the season and are now tied in second in the Great Lakes-West Division.

Starting offensive linemen, Mike Dhein emphasized in pregame what needed to be done in order to win.

“We have to come out to play at the first whistle,” said Dhein.

All rested coming off their bye week, the Panthers did just that.

Club football is not your typical collegiate athletic program. There are no scholarships, no decorated school bands and no cheerleaders in uniform - just coaches, players, fans and football. Club football teams are responsible for their own funding thorough fundraising events and club dues. The purpose is to allow students to further their university experience through competition.

“We’re a strong knit group of guys trying to have fun and trying to compete,” said Sam Clark, starting quarterback for the Panthers. “Since we don’t receive academic scholarships, we’re out here to have fun.”

Clark and company had plenty of fun on this particular day. Wasting no time, the Panthers scored four rushing touchdowns in the first quarter courtesy of starting running back Beto Zarate, who finished with 115 yards rushing on the day off of 15 carries.

The 28-0 lead at the end of the first proved to be enough offense for the Panthers on this day.

Bonus touchdowns came on a seven yard interception return by linebacker Jack Gehringer in the second quarter and a 109 yard missed field goal return by defensive back Danny Brennan in the second half.

Clark also found success, completing 17 of 25 passes for 219 yards while running for 68 yards on 10 carries. Across the state at Cumberland high school, Clark was a multi-sport athlete in football and basketball, both of which he excelled at. 

His athletic ability is noteworthy, and is demonstrated by his ability to not only pass, but also run the football. He is currently the passing yard leader of the NCFA (National Club Football Association) with 926 yards and is fourth in touchdown passes with six.

Although the quarterback of a football team is the assumed vocal leader, the quiet Clark prefers other methods of leadership, demonstrating his by example

“I try to help out by getting everyone on the same page,” Clark said.

Another man whose job is to get everyone on the same page is Head Coach Dave Mogensen. He is currently in his second year here at Milwaukee and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon. 

Mogensen works for Restaurant Operations for the UWM dorms in accordance with coaching football. Since there are only three practices a week, Mogensen has more time to spend with his family as opposed to being a coach anywhere else.

“I’ve had offers for other coaching positions, but I turned them down,” said Mogensen. “This position allows me to still coach football without the added stress of a bigger program”

After a 5-2 campaign combined with a national rank of 7th in his inaugural year, Mogensen strives to continue his winning ways by ending this season on a high note.

“Hopefully we can finish in the top ten in the country again and sneak into a bowl berth,” said Mogensen.

With what Mogensen calls “an awesome coaching staff” and a team full of All State talent, he believes the Panthers can finish on that high note.

Panther football fan David Drake believes this team can finish this season strong after early season woes.

“Despite missing 12 players at the beginning, this team has had good chemistry as of late and I wouldn’t be surprised if they win out the way they’re playing now,” said Drake.

After the upcoming bye, the Panthers will take on the Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville Cougars in its final game of the season, November 9th at Don Forti field. This match will determine who will claim second place in the Great Lakes-West division, and potentially bring that highly desired bowl birth to this Panther Football team.

 



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