TC beats Bulldogs 26-3 in McPherson

The Tabor College football team went to McPherson Saturday and crashed the Bulldogs’ homecoming party with a 26-3 win.

The home team took a 3-0 lead with 6:47 left in the first on a 33-yard Brison Gray field goal. Tabor bounced back with consecutive scores in the second quarter and rattled off 26 unanswered points before the game clock struck triple-zeros.

A 36-yard pass from DeJaun Jones to Caleb Marsh set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Mario Nava with 9:22 to play in the half. John Brown blocked the PAT, but Tabor’s Terry Bates picked off Patrick Luz three plays later. Bates returned the ball 21 yards into McPherson territory, setting up a 4-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Nate Owens. Marcus Manny added the extra point, and the half ended Tabor 13, McPherson 3.

The Bluejay defense started the third quarter just like it ended the second when Shaiphan Lewis intercepted Luz to bring the offense onto the field deep in Bulldogs territory. This time, the offense sputtered and settled for a 27-yard Derik Martinez field goal. Martinez also hit a 35 yard kick late in the fourth.

But before the fourth quarter began, TC proved its ability to move the ball at will against McPherson. With 8 runs and 5 passes, the Bluejays covered 87 yards and ran 5:44 off of the clock. Jones found Jenkins open in the end zone to cap the drive with another Tabor touchdown.

Eight Bluejays combined for 227 rushing yards, led by 65 from Nava, 49 from Julius Williams, 48 from Jones and 30 from Hector LaBoy. In addition to running the option offense, Jones completed 14 of 19 pass attempts for 144 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers.

Defensively, the Bluejays broke into the McPherson backfield 12 times, with four quarterback sacks costing the Bulldogs 38 yards and eight tackles for loss pushing the home team back an additional 44 yards. Tabor held McPherson to 161 yards on the day–allowing only 47 on the ground–and grabbed three interceptions. Tabor’s only turnover came in the McPherson end zone. On a trick play, a pass thrown by Marsh bounced off of Owens and into the arms of Ene Akpan on the last play of the second quarter.

The loss gave McPherson (1-5) its seventh consecutive loss against Tabor (3-3).

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