Written by AO Saturday, 18 October 2008 11:38
The University of Saint Mary Spires beat Tabor 53-31 at Reimer Field Saturday (Oct. 18) in Hillsboro. It was Tabor's fourth loss by 50-plus points and sixth loss overall. But among the bright spots were two Bluejays performances: quarterback Marc Amos threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, accounting for 209 yards of total offense along the way; and defensive back Sean Retting recorded six tackles and an interception along with three passes defended.
Retting's performance was particularly strong in light of the efficiency of the Spires passing game from their first play to their last. Saint Mary quarterback Daniel Robles frustrated the Tabor defense almost from the outset, converting a third-and-six with a pass to Frankie Walburn to set up the Spires first score four plays later.
Rocky Rosales capped the first Spires drive with a 3-yard run at 10:14, and hammered home a 1-yard score set up when the long snap sailed over punter Kevin Carroll's head at 7:57 of the first quarter.
Demetrius Cox led the Bluejays counterattack, breaking away with a 38-yard run to set up a 7-yard quarterback keeper run by Amos at 7:08.
Tabor forced Saint Mary into a third-and-7 on the ensuing drive, but was unable to prevent Robles from finding Tai Murray for the first down. Later on that drive, Robles converted a fourth-and-1 with a run, and he hit Murray with a 26-yard touchdown pass two plays later.
Amos responded with some sharp passing of his own, completing throws to Marquis Smith (7 yards) and Adrian Clay (35 yards) to set up a 34-yard field goal by Marcus Manny 2:21 into the second quarter.
Saint Mary then put together the game's pivotal drive, with Robles converting two third downs and a fourth-and-3 to set up Rosales' third rushing touchdown—a 28-yarder at 7:20 of the second quarter. The Spires ramped their lead to 34-10 two plays later, as the Bluejays fumbled away the first play after the kickoff, and Robles found Derick Schulte with a 9-yard touchdown pass.
Tabor never recovered from that sequence, but did battle back, with Amos completing a 27-yard strike to Clay and a 24-yard touchdown to Phillip Robben with 5:08 left in the first half.
Robles led the Spires 59 yards in six plays before Retting intercepted his attempt to find Glen Wallin in the end zone. Saint Mary got the ball back when Tabor failed to convert a fourth-and-8 near midfield, and tried three pass plays before halftime. Joe Wuest sacked Robles as time expired, and Tabor stuffed Saint Mary again to start the third quarter.
The Spires returned the favor, forcing a 3-and-out, and Robles completed five of six passes to set up Rosales' fourth rushing touchdown of the game. Rosales scored on a draw from two yards out at 8:13 of the third quarter, making it 40-17, Spires. Robles hit Willie Harris for a 33-yard touchdown with 2:30 left in the third, and found Leroy Griffin for a 45-yard touchdown 55 seconds into the fourth period.
But the rest of the game belonged to Tabor, as the Bluejays posted two three-and-outs and scored two touchdowns. Marion High School alum Drew Looper recovered an Amos fumble in the end zone at 6:40, and Amos completed a 9-yard touchdown to Dareck Yeoman to cap off the game's final series.
Manny went 4-for-4 on extra points in addition to the field goal, had several kickoffs go for touchbacks, and recorded what may have been a touchdown-saving tackle on the second half's opening kickoff.
Up next, Tabor (0-6, 0-5 KCAC) plays Bethel (5-1, 4-1 KCAC) Oct. 25 in North Newton. The Threshers most recently defeated Southern Nazarene on their home field, 25-24.