SYRACUSE, N.Y – The opportunistic Snow College defense and special teams did what they have done all year forcing four turnovers as the fourth-ranked Badgers blew out third-ranked, and previously undefeated, ASA College 47-21 in the inaugural Carrier Dome Bowl. The Badgers built a 40-point lead fueled by three interceptions, a fumble recovery and a special teams touchdown before the Avengers from Brooklyn, N.Y., scored twice in the waning minutes of the game.
The Badgers, who lead the nation in turnovers forced, started drives in ASA territory seven times, while the Avengers never started better than at their own 34. “We were able to get so much pressure on their quarterback that it allowed us to disguise our coverage and never give him anything consistent to look at,” said Snow head coach Tyler Hughes.
Interceptions by Zac Christian, Dalton Brady and Shawn Sharkey set Snow up once at midfield and another time at the Avenger six-yard line.
Quarterback Christian Stewart made the most the short field his defense handed him, hitting six different receivers for 283 yards and three touchdowns. ASA concentrated on stopping Badger running back Breon Allen, the nation’s leading rusher, and Stewart made them pay. Allen finished with only 23 yards on 13 carries while Kalama Molisi ground out 64 yards for the Badgers.
Snow scored first on a 21-yard pass from Stewart to tight end Evan Moeai midway through the first period. ASA tied it up on a 1-yard run by Hosey Williams at the end of the opening period, but Spencer Groner gave Snow the lead again on its next possession with a 43-yard field goal.
A 75-yard scoring pass to speedster Damond Powell five minutes into the second quarter made the score 17-7 for the Badgers and opened the floodgates. Stewart threw to Powell streaking down the right sideline with ASA defender Donte Williams getting a hand on the ball. But Williams tipped it right to Powell who took it in stride to go the last 25 yards for the score.
An eight-yard scoring run by Allen and a Groner 24-yard field goal made it 26-7 at halftime.
ASA never really mounted a comeback in the third quarter as Brady and Christian picked the ball off on consecutive possessions. The Badgers took advantage as Molisi ran it in from two yards out and Stewart hit Lowry Akers in the corner of the end zone for a 15-yard score near the end of the period.
The Badgers added a touchdown early in the fourth when ASA punter Cherchen Aloema botched a kick in the end zone which was recovered by Levi Thompson to put Snow ahead 47-7. It was the ninth defensive or special teams touchdown of the season for Snow, tops in the nation. The Badger defense also recorded eight safeties this season, more than twice as many as the second highest team nationally.
Stewart was named Offensive Player of the Game while Jake Miller, who had six tackles including a sack, got the defensive nod. Snow finishes 11-1 on the season and is likely to move up to second in the rankings after top-ranked Iowa Western and No. 2 Butler (Kansas) play for the national championship Sunday in the Graphic Edge Bowl in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Founded in 1888, Snow College serves nearly 5,000 students on its Ephraim and Richfield
Campuses. With a full offering of transfer and career and technical programs, Snow
College is committed to meeting the needs of Central Utah and beyond.