WINFIELD, Kan. – A five-year Homecoming win streak came to an end for the Southwestern College football team Saturday afternoon. The Moundbuilders fell victim to the No. 12-ranked Bluejays of Tabor College, 42-14, on the turf of Beta Rho Mu Field inside Richard L. Jantz Stadium.
The Southwestern (0-5, 0-4 KCAC) offense finally started to click Saturday afternoon, particularly in the second half. The Moundbuilders amassed 292 total offensive yards and scored a pair of touchdowns against the nationally-ranked Bluejays, but it wasn't enough to erase a 21-point first-quarter deficit. Tabor (4-1, 4-0 KCAC) simply had too many weapons, and used a balanced offensive attack to cruise to the 42-14 victory.
How It Happened…
-Tabor won the opening coin toss, and elected to receive the football to open the game. The Bluejays put together a 10-play, 63-yard opening drive, which ended on a 34-yard touchdown pass to give Tabor a 7-0 lead with 11:23 to play in the first period.
-The Bluejays added another touchdown five minutes later with a quick five-play, 48-yard drive that pushed the Tabor advantage to 14-0 at the 6:21 mark of the quarter.
-The Moundbuilders fumbled the ball on the opening play of the ensuing drive. Tabor recovered on the Southwestern 20 yard line, and scored one play later on a 20-yard run that gave the white-clad Bluejays a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.
-Southwestern scored the only points of the second quarter, and did so in the final seconds of the half. Sophomore quarterback Christian Gordon capped a seven-play, 85-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to Donny Ebanks. Mario Esparza converted the extra point, and cut the Tabor lead to 21-7 at halftime.
-Tabor scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter, both came on passes from quarterback Curry Parham to Zach Johnson. The first was a 22-yard pass, and the second was a 46-yard pass that gave the Jays a 35-7 advantage after the third quarter.
-Southwestern scored its final touchdown of the contest early in the fourth quarter, when Gordon found Ebanks yet again, this time on a six-yard pass that cut the Tabor lead to 35-14 after the Esparza conversion.
-Tabor closed the scoring in the game with 3:20 to play. An eight-yard pass capped a five-play, 47-yard drive, and gave the Jays the 42-14 final margin.
Inside the Box Score…
-Sophomore running back Hunter Sconce led Southwestern's offense in Saturday's Homecoming contest. The Yukon, Okla., product carried the ball 15 times for 119 yards, including a 58-yard scamper. Freshman Jacobi White added 65 yards on six carries.
-Sophomore quarterback Christian Gordon completed 11 of his 31 pass attempts for 76 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
-Donny Ebanks was Gordon's favorite target in the game. Ebanks recorded 27 yards and two touchdowns on four receptions, while Tanner Spencer added 37 yards on three receptions.
-Southwestern amassed 292 offensive yards on 74 plays Saturday afternoon. The Moundbuilders picked up 216 rushing yards on 42 attempts, but managed just 76 yards through the air.
-Turnovers became an issue Southwestern. The Builders turned the ball over four times, twice on interceptions, and twice more on fumbles.
-Saturday's loss ended a streak of five-straight Homecoming wins for the Moundbuilders. Before Saturday, Southwestern's last Homecoming loss came exactly five years ago on Oct. 8, 2011, when the Builders dropped a 41-19 decision to the nationally-ranked Ottawa University Braves.
Next Up for the Moundbuilders…
Southwestern will open a two-game road swing on Saturday, traveling to Lindsborg to face the Swedes of Bethany College. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. inside Anderson Stadium.