The Tabor College football team moved into a 3-way tie for seventh
place by defeating McPherson 23-19 at Reimer Field Saturday. Led by 251
rushing yards and three touchdowns from Derek Washington, the Bluejays
overcame three turnovers to secure coach Mike Gottsch's second
consecutive conference win. After two quarters of spotty defense
against the McPherson passing game, Tabor intercepted Bulldogs QB Josh
White on consecutive possessions to staunch the bleeding.
gone to halftime with McPherson ahead 19-6, Tabor scored six plays into
the third quarter on a 2-yard plunge by Washington. A 33-yard pass play
from Marc Amos to Phil Robben was the key play of the drive, but Amos
made two others during the series: a 20-yard pass to Adrian Clay, and a
The Bluejay defense, behind two tackles from Teal
Stutzman, stuffed the Bulldogs on four straight downs to take back
possession. But the offense, trailing 19-13, was unable to capitalize.
Having taken over at midfield, Tabor bashed its way down to the
McPherson 9. On first-and-goal, on the ninth play of the drive,
Washington was stopped for no gain. After two incomplete passes—one of
which was dropped by a Tabor receiver in the end zone—Marcus Manny
kicked a 24-yard field goal to make it 19-16.
Tabor forced a
3-and-out with 2:16 left in the third, and the Bluejay offense used
five runs to march to the McPherson 14 before the teams traded ends.
Then, on the first play of the fourth quarter, Washington shook loose
of the Bulldog defense and scored his third touchdown of the day. Manny
buried the extra point for a 23-29 Tabor lead.
During the final
frame, the Tabor defense bent but did not break. After Stutzman stuffed
a Bulldog run on third-and-2 at the Tabor 26, the Bluejays forced an
incompletion on fourth-and-5. The Tabor offense advanced the ball 61
yards on 11 plays before attempting a field goal from the McPherson 10.
Manny's kick was wide right, but more importantly, the Tabor offense
had chewed up nearly six minutes of clock.
McPherson took over at
its 20, ran four plays to gain five yards, and handed the ball back to
the Bluejays with 2:51 to go. Stutzman again made the play for the
Tabor defense, snuffing out a reverse at the 25 on third down.
the offense failed to move the ball, giving McPherson one last shot of
life, and the Bulldogs very nearly made Tabor pay for it. White
completed consecutive passes, and, combined with a personal foul
penalty flagged against Tabor for roughing the passer, moved McPherson
to midfield in the blink of an eye.
But the Bluejays made three
plays to end the game: Terence George and Jon Ramos each knocked down a
pass to set up third down; White, finding no receivers open on
third-and-10 broke loose for 13-yards, but was fumbled when he was
hammered by Stutzman. Michael Henry jumped on the loose ball, and Tabor
ended the game on kneel-downs.
Stutzman totaled 14 tackles and two forced fumbles. Sean Retting and J.J. Bean each had an interception.
Up next, the Bluejays (2-7) hosts its season finale against Kansas Wesleyan.