LEAVENWORTH, Kan. – A second-half comeback bid fell two points short for the Southwestern College football team Saturday afternoon. The Moundbuilders dropped a 15-13 decision to the University of Saint Mary Spires on the natural grass of the USM Football/Soccer Field in Leavenworth.
Saint Mary scored all 15 of its points in the second quarter, but the Moundbuilders scored a touchdown in each of the final two periods to make things interesting. A two-point conversion attempt in the final five minutes failed, and Southwestern dropped its eighth game of the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED…
-Saint Mary kicker Tim Mitchell broke a scoreless deadlock with a 28-yard field goal, and gave the Spires a 3-0 lead with 11:28 to play in the second quarter. Mitchell doubled the USM lead with a 38-yard field goal, and Saint Mary led 6-0 with 5:01 remaining in the half.
-The Spires scored their first touchdown of the contest on a four-yard keeper by USM quarterback Marcus Mata that capped a quick four-play, 38-yard drive. Mitchell's kick was off the mark, but the Spires held a 12-0 lead with 3:38 to play in the second quarter.
- Mitchell converted on an 18-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds of the opening half to give Saint Mary a 15-0 halftime lead.
-Anthony Sims put Southwestern on the board for the first time in the third quarter. Sims' 14-yard touchdown run put the finishing touches on a 10-play, 57-yard scoring drive, and cut the Saint Mary lead to 15-7 after three quarters.
-Southwestern put itself in position to break its three-game skid late in the fourth quarter. Braden Langston found Skylor Kistler from eight yards out for the first passing touchdown if his Southwestern career. Tyler Crandall's two-point conversion pass attempt was off the mark, and Southwestern faced a 15-13 deficit with 4:57 remaining in the game.
-Southwestern stopped Saint Mary on downs, and regained possession on its own 14 yard line with 2:17 to play in the game. Langston marched the Moundbuilders all the way to the Saint Mary 44 yard line, thanks in large part to a 34 yard juggling pass reception by Kistler, but a fourth-down pass from Langston to Austin Williams fell incomplete with 41 seconds remaining, and the Spires escaped with a 15-13 win.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE…
-Braden Langston led Southwestern's offensive efforts. The sophomore transfer from Hutchinson Community College completed seven of his 20 pass attempts for 97 yards and a touchdown. Langston split time as the Moundbuilder quarterback with Tyler Crandall, who finished 3-for-16 for 24 yards.
-Skylor Kistler was the primary receiving target for Southwestern. The senior caught seven passes for 76 yards and a touchdown, and was the only Moundbuilder with multiple receptions in the game.
-Anthony Sims finished as Southwestern's rushing leader with 67 yards on 16 attempts, and scored the only Moundbuilder rushing touchdown of the contest.
-Southwestern amassed 265 yards as a team, and did so on 74 plays. The Moundbuilders ran for 121 yards, and threw for 144 yards while achieving 17 first downs. Saint Mary posted 351 yards of offense (175 passing, 176 rushing) on 84 plays.
-Eric Walker anchored the Moundbuilder defense with 15 total tackles. Walker made 10 solo tackles, and assisted on five others. The redshirt junior also recorded 2.5 tackles for a combined loss of 10.5 yards, including a sack.
Southwestern will host its final home game of the 2014 season Saturday, hosting the Warriors of Sterling College for Senior Day. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. inside Richard L. Jantz Stadium.