SALINA, Kan. – The Southwestern College football team dropped its third game of the season Saturday evening in Salina. The Moundbuilders fell, 63-13, to the No. 20-ranked Coyotes of Kansas Wesleyan in a homecoming match-up which saw its start-time delayed 30 minutes due to weather, then featured two long lightning delays inside the Graves Family Sports Complex in Salina.
A combination of turnovers, penalties, and an Coyote squad hungry for revenge after being humiliated a week before in Sterling proved to be a dangerous combination for Southwestern. The Moundbuilders threw two interceptions, and fumbled four times, all of which were lost, while KWU amassed 595 offensive yard on 91 plays en route to the blowout win.
How it Happened…
-Kansas Wesleyan (3-1, 1-1 KCAC) scored on its first drive of the contest, using a 10-play, 72 yard drive to take a 7-0 lead after a 20-yard touchdown run and the ensuing point-after attempt. The Coyotes extended their lead to 14-0 on a 20-yard pass play that capped an eight-play, 50-yard scoring drive with 7:15 still to play in the first quarter.
-Southwestern (0-3, 0-2 KCAC) closed the quarter with its first scoring drive of the contest. The Moundbuilders were driving down the field, and got all the way to the KWU 4-yard line before mother nature reared her angry head for the first time. Lightning in the area forced an evacuation of the field. When play resumed nearly an hour later, freshman quarterback Christian Gordon scored on a one-yard keeper on fourth down to put Southwestern on the board. The point-after failed, and Southwestern faced a 14-6 deficit at the end of the first quarter.
-KWU scored just once more before halftime. An eight-play, 75-yard drive completed in less than three minutes (2:55) allowed the Coyotes to take a 21-6 lead into the halftime intermission, which was also delayed due to lightning.
-The third quarter belonged completely to the Coyotes. Kansas Wesleyan scored three touchdowns to open the second half, and watched their lead surge to 42-6 after three periods of play.
-The Coyotes added another touchdown less than 90 seconds into the fourth quarter. A one-yard rush capped a quick two-play, four-yard drive following a Moundbuilder turnover, and gave KWU a 49-6 lead with 13:52 to play.
-Southwestern added its final touchdown of the game with 8:43 remaining in the contest. Senior quarterback Braden Langston capped a 14-play, 90-yard drive with his own one-yard keeper on fourth down. Senior Mario Esparza converted his PAT attempt to trim the deficit to 49-13.
-Not to be out-done in front of its homecoming crowd, Kansas Wesleyan added two more touchdowns in the final seven minutes of the contest, and cruised to the 63-13 final margin.
Inside the Box Score…
-Freshman Christian Gordon was Southwestern's leading passer in Saturday's contest. The Yukon, Okla., product completed seven of his 16 passing attempts for 93 yards, and threw a pair of interceptions. Senior quarterback Braden Langston was 5-for-11 in the game for 77 yards.
-Cole Williams was Southwestern's leading receiver, accounting for 52 yards on just one reception. Jacob Sigmon added 38 yards on five receptions, while Tanner Spencer added 38 yards on two receptions.
-Gordon also led the Moundbuilder rushing attack with 14 carries for 43 yards, while Aaron Johnson added 22 yards on seven plays.
-Marquis Hodge anchored Southwestern's defense with 12 tackles (10 solo, 2 assist), while David Ashilonu was credited with nine tackles (8 solo, 1 assist).
-Southwestern amassed 231 yards of offense on 68 plays in Saturday's contest. The Moundbuilders completed 12 of their 27 passing attempts for 170 yards, and carried the ball 41 times for 61 yards.
Next Up for the Moundbuilders…
After three-straight road trips to open the season, Southwestern will finally get a chance to play in front of its home crowd on Saturday. The Moundbuilders will host the arch-rival Falcons of Friends University with a 1:30 p.m. kick at Richard L. Jantz Stadium in Winfield.