Iowa quarterback Wesleyan breaks one-game touchdown record


MONT PLEASANT – One would assume that a school record of seven touchdown passes in a single game would last forever, but at Iowa Wesleyan University, “forever” is apparently only 30 years old.

Tigers quarterback Gavin Esquivel completed eight touchdown passes on Saturday in a 69-28 non-conference victory over Crown College at Bob Evans at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.

This erased the Iowa Wesleyan record of seven touchdown passes in a single game set by Dustin Dewald in 1991.

Esquivel, a freshman from Kemah, Texas, was on fire. He completed 31 of 47 passes for 434 yards, giving the Tigers their first victory after opening the season with five straight losses. Esquivel was pulled over once.

His eighth touchdown was a four-yard shot to Damian Tenelus with 1:30 p.m. left in the game. Mahamadou Yattabare’s kick gives the Tigers a 63-28 lead. Esquivel then left the game.

Crown College fell to 0-4.

“It was awesome,” Esquivel said. “Everything was great there. The line worked extremely well. The guys following the ball did well. It was a great experience. Everyone followed the right routes. Everyone was on the same pitch. wave.”

Setting the record “is really good, but I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” Esquivel said. “They helped me. They help me all the time on the training and scouting teams. It was a great experience. I had so much fun and hope I can do it again.”

Despite being a freshman, Esquivel is no stranger to the Iowa Wesleyan offensive system.

“I basically grew up with it,” he said. “In college, we ran it, then my high school coach played for Oklahoma, so I got used to it. Coming here was already a habit.”

On his last touchdown, “as soon as I released that ball I knew Damian would play on the ball. It was amazing,” he said.

Setting the record is “amazing because it’s a 30-year record, I believe,” said Iowa head coach Wesleyan, MD Daniels. “And for someone like that to come here in first year, the sky’s the limit for the young man. So we’re hoping to have a few more on the road.”

Iowa linebacker Wesleyan Major Niccum (33) returns the ball after intercepting a pass in the second quarter on Saturday at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex in Mount Pleasant.  Iowa Wesleyan defeated Crown College 69-28.

Esquivel threw three touchdown passes to Braedin Ross and one to Jaden Harris, Hezekiah Hunter, Shomari Wilson, Tanelus and Tony Brooks. Ross finished with eight catches for 110 yards. Dmitri Rodriguez caught six balls for 83 yards.

Iowa Wesleyan amassed 604 yards of total offense against the Storm’s 365.

“We finally got one,” Daniels said. “For these young guys to feel this win, it’s amazing because I know it will help us with our confidence for the rest of the season.

“We’ve been talking all week that we need to be more physical than our opponent,” Daniels said. “If we are more physical we have a chance of winning the football game. It was a good team victory in the all around.”

Daniels couldn’t contain his pride.

“I’m so proud of the guys,” he said. “We haven’t won a Homecoming game since 2017. It’s a long time not to win Homecoming. For us, winning one in our first year together is great. I’m super proud of our guys. And I couldn’t be more proud of my coaches We had a good game plan for today and everything worked in our favor.

“That confidence (of the players) is at its height right now,” Daniels said. “This is just one of the many victories that we’re going to have in this program. We’re going to go back to the drawing board and do what we’re doing. Practice the fundamentals, train the little things and get ready for Dickinson State. “

James Sherman (21) of Iowa Wesleyan returns a first quarter kickoff Saturday at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex in Mount Pleasant.  Iowa Wesleyan won the Homecoming game, 69-28, against Crown College.

YOUTH MOVEMENT: Iowa Wesleyan and Crown have young teams. On the Iowa Wesleyan two-tier roster, the Tigers have 39 freshmen, 12 sophomores and one junior. No old people.

The crown is a little older. On the Storm’s Two Depths roster are 32 freshmen, six sophomores, 10 juniors and three seniors.

FOLLOWING : The Tigers are out this week and then face Dickinson State University (2-2, 2-0) in a North Star Athletic Association game in Dickinson, ND on October 16. Dickinson State released a 70-14 North Star win on Presentation.


First stockings. 29. 37

Rush-yards 28-14. 26-154

Yards through the pass 351. 450

Comp-Att-Int. 32-63-2. 33-51-1

Total offense. 365. 604

Fumbles-lost. 2-0. 1-1

Flat-medium. .4-46. 2-41

Penalties-yards. 9-70. 18-173

Effectiveness of the 3rd descent. 5-17. 8-12

4th efficiency down. 4-8. 1-1

Quarter score

Crown 8 12 0 8 – 28

Wesleyan 14 21 21 13 – 69


Crown-Elisha Greene, fumble recovery in the end zone (failed run)

IWU—Braedin Ross, 45 assists from Gavin Esquivel (kick from Mahamadou Yattabare)

Crown-Team safety

IWU—Jaden Harris, 35 Esquivel assists (Yattabare kick)

IWU—Hezekiah Hunter, 1 run (missed pass)

IWU—Ross, 11 assists from Esquivel (Yattabare kick)

Crown-Ryan Swecker, 50 assists from Jared Gilmore (missed pass)

IWU—Shomari Wilson, 25 Esquivel pass (Hunter, Esquivel pass)

Crown-Swecker, 29 assists from Gilmore (failed run)

IWU—Ross, 5 Esquivel assists (Yattabare kick)

IWU—Hunter, 4 Esquivel assists (Yattabare kick)

IWU—Tony Brooks, 30 Esquivel assists (Yattabare kick)

IWU—Damian Tenelus, 4 Esquivel assists (Yattabare kick)

Crown-George Green, 6 assists from Gilmore (Gilmore Track)

IWU—James Sherman, 2 points (missed kick)

Individual statistics

RUSH: Crown – Gilmore 8 – (- 21), Ezekie Alfonso 1 – (- 5), Avor Caruthers 6-4, Chris Nigh 7-30, Josh Wallace 6-6. Wesleyan Iowa Esquivel 1-16, Richard Coleman 1-8, Sherman 1-2, Hunter 15-78, Kam Cole 3-30, Humberto Arizmendi 5-20.

PASSAGE: Crown – Gilmore 32-63-2-351. Wesleyan Iowa Esquivel 31-47-1-434, Arizmendi 2-4-0-16.

RECEPTION: Crown – Terry Warner 5-40, Cole Mistretta 11-119, Caruthers 5-23, Nigh 1-13, Wallace 2-30, Swecker 6-112, Green 2-14. Wesleyan Iowa – Dmitri Rodriguez 6-83, Harris 1-35, Hunter 3-15, Kelan Dove 3-30, Wilson 3-54, Tanelus 5-67, Jayden Ridenour 1-6, Ross 8-110, Brooks 3-50.

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