KW hands Tabor 41-27 loss at home

A 14-point lead in the first quarter proved to be the deciding factor in Tabor’s 41-27 loss Saturday to Kansas Wesleyan University at Reimer Field.

The Bluejays matched the Coyotes point for point in the last three quarters, but were unable to climb the 14-point mountain the Coyotes established in the first quarter.

The loss is the first home loss Tabor has suffered this season.

The first quarter letdown was a disappointment to head coach Tim McCarty.

“We came out flat at the first of the game,” McCarty said. “Our receivers were dropping balls, we weren’t blocking right, we were missing some tackles and the kids knew it.

“Every one of the kids said, ‘Coach we’re all right, we can’t do anything worse than we’re doing,’ and it was frustrating. It’s growing pains.”

After two quick touchdowns in the first quarter, KWU lead 14-0.

In the second quarter the Bluejays marched down the field and quarterback Dave Hernandez dove in from inches out to get Tabor on the board at the 13:20 mark of the second quarter. Dylan Pohlman added the extra point and the Bluejays trailed 14-7.

Minutes later the Coyotes hooked up on a 43-yard touchdown pass to put them back up 21-7 after converting the extra-point.

Tabor’s Tyson Ratzlaff hauled in a 20-yard pass from Hernandez with eight minutes remaining in the second to again cut the lead to only a touchdown after a successful Pohlman PAT.

With 20 seconds remaining in the first half, the Coyotes slammed one in from two yards out and added the field goal to go up 28-14.

Neither team could get anything going offensively until late in the quarter when KWU’s quarterback hooked up with his receiver for a 74-yard strike that resulted in a big touchdown for the Coyotes.

On the ensuing kick-off, Bluejay speedster Steven Seaman snatched the ball on the return and took it 79 yards for the touchdown. Pohlman added the PAT and the Jays trailed 35-21 going into the final quarter.

Riding the momentum into the fourth, Hernandez hit Ratzlaff for a 15-yard touchdown pass to get the Jays within eight after Pohlman’s kick was blocked on the extra point.

But just when as Tabor threatened to overcome the KWU deficit, the Coyotes struck with an 18-yard touchdown scamper with 5:57 left in the game to seal the victory.

In his second straight start, Hernandez threw for 272 yards, including two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Ratzlaff caught 10 balls for 170 yards and scored two touchdowns.

On the defensive side, the Bluejays were lead by Kyle Holzheuser, who racked up eight tackles and recovered a fumble.

“We’re getting there every day,” McCarty said. “I hold my head up high.

“We are Tabor and everybody likes to make fun of us, but we are coming and everybody knows it. I’m glad to say that for my kids. I’m glad to say it for this school because we are going to come.”

With the loss, the Bluejays dropped to 3-4 overall and 2-4 in the KCAC. They will travel to Leavenworth Saturday to take on St. Mary College.

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