FOREST CITY – Slowing down Buena Vista University was the biggest challenge for the Waldorf College football team during Saturday's 55-28 loss.
"When they needed to answer, they worked as a unit," Waldorf coach Kent Anderson said. "They're a pretty good football team and they execute well."
NCAA Division III's Beavers (1-2) started the contest with 21 unanswered points in the opening quarter.
The Warriors (2-4) battled back during the second quarter behind two touchdown passes from junior quarterback Christopher Smith.
Five plays later, Buena Vista's Gunner Gilland caught a 32-yard TD pass from quarterback Bobby Brown to give the Beavers a 28-14 lead with 39 seconds to play in the first half.
"We fought back, but we let them go right down the field again," Anderson said. "That's just been our MO. We still have to learn to play as a football team."
Waldorf went into halftime trailing by 14 points.
"It would've been great going into halftime down seven," Anderson said. "That was a turning point."
Buena Vista padded its lead as Brown tossed two TD passes in the third quarter and two more in the fourth. The Beavers owned a 55-14 advantage with 5 minutes, 47 seconds remaining in the game.
"We didn't have the answers to their offense all night," Anderson said.
The Warriors recovered an onside kick with 5:44 to play. Moncrief capped the drive with his second TD of the night, pulling down a 3-yard pass from backup quarterback Isaac Sanchez.
Sanchez passed for his second TD, hooking up with freshman Jestaro Reynolds on a 12-yard reception with 3:01 left.
Buena Vista piled up 644 yards of total offense. Brown completed 23 of 36 passes for 396 yards and four TDs to lead the Beavers.
Dylan Barnett rushed for 168 yards and visited the end zone twice for Buena Vista.
Gilland led the Beavers' receiving corps with 143 yards and three TDs. Ben Seitz added 139 yards and two TDs.
Waldorf finished with 456 yards on offense. The Warriors committed three turnovers, losing two fumbles and throwing an interception.
Smith went 16 of 31 passing for 239 yards on the night and also rushed for 45 yards. Sanchez passed for 59 yards, going 6 of 7.
Moncrief led the Warriors with 117 receiving yards, collecting eight catches. Chapman provided 109 yards on seven receptions.
Senior Giano White recorded 12 tackles to lead Waldorf's defensive effort.
Freshman Aaron Givens and sophomore Cory Evans collected six tackles each. Waldorf received five tackles apiece from freshmen Ty'Karius Brooks, Latevinan Glass, sophomore Micah Villanueva and junior Paul Hall.
The Warriors return to North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) play next Saturday against Valley City State University (4-1, 2-0) at Valley City, N.D. Waldorf enters the contest with a 1-2 conference record.
"That'll be a tough one," Anderson said.
With just four games remaining on the season schedule, the Warriors are taking aim at achieving the school's best finish since joining the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
"We've got four games left and we've still got a chance to have more wins than we have ever had as a four-year school," Anderson said. "That's what we've set our bar at and it's something to shoot for."