116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DUBUQUE - Nolan Baumhover threw more touchdown passes last week then he did the entire previous season when he was a senior in high school. How good is that?
The Loras College freshman had eight scoring tosses in a 55-48 win over Central at the Rock Bowl. He had seven all of last season with Western Dubuque.
'It's a great feeling. Definitely an accomplishment,” Baumhover said. 'It's something that gives me pride.”
As it should.
Western Dubuque was a power-running team last season, which explains the lower number of TD passes he had. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder began as a backup to sophomore Bob Kelly but got thrust to the forefront when Kelly went down with an injury on Loras' second offensive possession of the season.
He has run - or passed - with that opportunity, with the exception of a shoulder injury that kept him out of one entire game and parts of two others.
'Honestly, I was trying to get number one from the first day of camp,” Baumhover said. 'I just wanted to keep climbing the ladder.”
Baumhover threw for 359 yards and six touchdowns in a 48-41 win two weeks ago over Buena Vista. He completed 39 of 56 passes for 434 yards against Central.
Those are simply crazy, video-game numbers.
'It's not just about Nolan, it's about the guys around him, too,” said Loras Coach Steve Helminiak. 'He has an outstanding core of sure-handed receivers. They don't drop many passes. He has a good running game around him, too, and an offensive line that has improved a lot as the season has gone on. That's the kind of situation that has allowed him to do the things he has done.
'But the manner to which he has succeeded says a lot about him. He is a bright young man who has taken to coaching very well. He's a very humble young man who has remained very grounded.”
As if on cue, Baumhover was quick to credit his teammates and offensive coordinator Jake Olsen for his success. Olsen's uptempo offense has seemed to be a perfect fit for Baumhover and everyone else.
Senior wide receiver Nate Even, a former Cedar Rapids Xavier prep, broke the school record for receptions and receiving yards in a season in 2014. Former Cascade prep Nate Bergfeld, a freshman, had 11 catches against Central.
By the way, Baumhover's eight TDs broke the Loras record and was one shy of the NCAA Division III record of nine. He has completed 64.5 percent of his passes this season for 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
'I definitely thought I would be able to come in and put up some numbers,” Baumhover said. 'I just didn't expect it to be this season.”
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