BULLDOGS BEAT SOUTHWESTERN!
(Compiled from the McPherson College Sports Information Department)
(Photo from Micah Gilbert)
MCPHERSON – The McPherson College football team evened their record to 3-3 overall and moved to 3-2 in KCAC play with a thrilling 16-13 victory over Southwestern College in front of a raucous homecoming crowd.
The Bulldogs, who have now won three straight games after starting out the season 0-3, had to overcome a lot of adversity, most of it self-inflicted to escape with the victory over the Moundbuilders. In what has become a recurring theme during this current winning streak, the Bulldog defense came through in a big way. Because of several miscues on special teams, the Bulldog defense was on the field for over 38 minutes. Despite the imbalance in time of possession, the defensive unit for the Bulldogs held a prolific Southwestern offense to 292 total yards, 234 on the ground and 58 through the air.
As a unit, they finished with six sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, and one interception. Top individual performers were Zane Hickey (Fr. Decatur, Texas), who had 11 tackles, one for a loss, Charles Tisby (Sr. Houston, Texas), who had 2 sacks and 2.5 tackles for a loss, Joseph Hunter (Jr. McKinney, Texas) and Kaden Tichenor (Fr. Holcomb, Kan.) who both forced a fumble, and Brandon Wright (Sr. Miami Gardens, Fla.), who had an interception in the endzone.
Offensively, the Bulldogs went with a balanced attack. They finished the game with 226 total yards, 118 rushing, and 108 passing. Ed Crouch (Sr. Miami Gardens, Fla.) was 10 for 27 for 108 yards, with one touchdown, a nine-yard strike to Ben Nikkel (So. McPherson, Kan.). On the ground, the Bulldogs went with a rushing by committee approach. Five different Bulldogs carried the ball, combining for 118 yards from scrimmage. Corey Davis (Jr. Houston, Texas), led the Bulldog rushing attack with 34 yards, but LaMeshio Hill (Jr. Rialto, Calif.) and Crouch were right behind him with 33. The top receiver on Saturday was Eman McNeal (Sr. Aurora, Colo.) who caught three passes for 45 yards.
The Moundbuilders scored the first points of the game in the first quarter, taking a 7-0 lead on a touchdown on their opening drive. After a missed field goal to start the second quarter from 38 yards, Cole Schroeder (Fr. Russell, Kan.) redeemed himself on his next attempt, this one from 32 yards, to get the Bulldogs on the board, and cut the Builder lead to 7-3, which is how the half ended.
Neither team put any points up in the third quarter but at the start of the fourth, Crouch hooked up with Nikkel and put the Bulldogs up 9-7. The extra point attempt was blocked leaving the Bulldog lead at two. On their next possession, the Builders went 54 yards on 10 plays and scored on an 8-yard quarterback keeper to retake the lead 13-9. Instead of kicking the extra point, the Builders decided to go for two, but the pass was broken up in the endzone by Brett Sykes (Sr. Cold Spring, Texas).
On the ensuing kickoff, the Bulldogs fumbled the ball, their third of the game, giving the Builders a short field to work with and 8 minutes left in the game. They went 27 yards in 8 plays, but on 3rd and goal from the 10-yard line, Wright intercepted a pass in the endzone, giving the Bulldogs new life. After the touchback, the Bulldog offense took over, needing a touch down to win.
Crouch led the Bulldogs on a 10 play, 80-yard drive, twice extended by Southwestern penalties, that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run by Hill. The extra point by Schroeder was good, giving the Bulldogs a 16-13 lead with just 33 ticks on the clock. Going into the wind, the Moundbuilders started their final drive on their own 25-yard line. They went 41 yards on their first three plays, and were on the Bulldogs’ half of the 50, but a sack by Tisby and Jeremiah Hawkins (Fr. Baton Rouge, La.) pushed Southwestern back. The sack was followed by two incomplete pass attempts, and the clock went to zeros giving the Bulldogs the win.
Coach Fiscus summed up his team’s performance saying, “This was a good team victory. It was not pretty, but at the end of the day we had more points than they had.” He went on to add, “The kids played incredibly hard, and our defense was outstanding. When it was time to make plays on offense, we made plays. I’d like to see more productivity earlier from the offense and the special teams have got to be special, we can’t keep turning the ball over on special teams.” He finished by saying, “We have a lot of little things to correct, but I will take learning from a win more so than learning from a loss any day.”
The Bulldogs will be back in action again next Saturday, when they host the Ottawa University Braves at Paul Family Field. Kickoff is slated for 5:30 p.m.
SOUTHWESTERN at BULLDOGS:
Southwestern 7 0 0 6 = 13
BULLDOGS 0 3 0 13 = 16
Southwestern – Scored on a 6-yard run (Kick was good) 7-0
BULLDOGS – Cole Schroeder on a 32-yard field goal 7-3
BULLDOGS – Ben Nikkel on a 9-yard pass from Ed Crouch (Kick failed) 7-9
Southwestern – Scored on an 8-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 13-9
BULLDOGS – LaMeshio Hill on a 1-yard run (Cole Schroeder Kick) 13-16
First Downs 21 15
Total Yards 292 226
Passing Yards 58 108
Rushing Yards 234 118
Penalties 6-70 3-35
Time of Possession 38:42 21:13
BULLDOG INDIVIDUAL LEADERS:
Passing: Ed Crouch 10 completions for 108 yards.
Rushing: Corey Davis 34 yds; Ed Crouch 32 yds; LaMeshio Hill 26 yds.
Receiving: Eman McNeal 3 rec. for 45 yards; Ben Nikkel 3 rec. for 33 yards; Corey Davis 1 rec. for 14 yards.
Defense: Zane Hickey 11 tackles-1 for loss of yards; Thomas Lanktree 9 tackles-.5 for loss of yards-.5 sacks; Johnathon Brown 8 tackles.
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