30-21 Bluejays win over the Spires ends 2006 on a positive note

Without a playoff spot on the line, pride was the name of the game on Saturday.

So when USM runningback Sirdonovan Palmer escaped a tackle in the backfield and sprinted 54 yards on the Spires opening possession, the Tabor offense took note.

Trailing 7-0, quarterback DeJaun Jones stepped into his first throw of the game and let loose a deep, arcing spiral that hit Caleb Marsh squarely in the numbers. Marsh trotted into the endzone with a 74-yard catch-and-run on Tabor’s second play from scrimmage.

Not to be outdone, the Tabor defense scored on USM’s second possession. Cornerback Sean Retting jumped in front of the intented receiver on the Spires’ first pass, made the interception and bolted 30 yards down the sideline into the end zone.

With Tabor up 13-7, Palmer broke a 57 yard run and scored from a yard out three plays later to keep the Spires in the game.

Trailing14-13 going into the second quarter, Jones looked for Aaron Jenkins and found him 3 times for 74 yards and a touchdown. The big play of the drive was a 41-yarder down the middle of the field, and the Bluejays added to the lead with a 38-yard touchdown run by Jones late in the third quarter.

A two point conversion put Tabor up 28-21, and a safety capped the game and the season for the Bluejays.

With a 5-4 conference record, Tabor finished fifth in the KCAC behind Sterling, Kansas-Wesleyan, Friends and Bethel. Friends and Bethel finished tied for the top spot in the conference with eight wins apiece.

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