Friends hammers Tabor 66-13

The Friends Univ. Falcons celebrated their homecoming with a 53-point victory over the visiting Tabor College football team Saturday night.

Having forced the first of seven Tabor turnovers, Friends scored on their offensive possession, with Trey Hightower blasting into the end zone for a 7-0 lead only 3:42 into the contest.

?Disaster struck again on Tabor's second possesion, when Drew Johnson blindsided Bluejay quarterback Jason Aubrey, forcing a second fumble. Michael Hecht recovered for the Falcons. Tabor's defense held its ground, but a field goal made it 10-0 with 9:28 left in the first quarter.

The teams played to a standstill for the rest of the frame.
The score remained unchanged until 45 seconds remained in the second quarter. Having mounted a 14-play, 89-yard drive, Hightower and Friends went up 17-0 on a 9-yard touchdown run late in the frame.

Tabor fired back, with Aubrey connecting on four of five pass attempts before the half expired. Jason Medellin made three grabs including a 9-yard touchdown with 12 seconds left. The key play of the drive was a 32-yard strike from Aubrey to Lance Stubbs and the only incompletion was a ball knocked away from Caleb Marsh in the end zone by Falcon defender Levi Ready.
Derik Martinez tacked on the point-after, and the halftime score was 17-7.

But the wheels fell off in the third quarter, with Friends marching 62 yards in 10 plays to start the frame, capping the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Chris Randolph. Tabor went 3-and-out, and Martinez punted from his own end zone.

Martinez blasted three massive punts, including two 53-yard bombs into the stiff south wind, and pinned a fourth out of bounds inside the Friends 20-yard line in the first half, but his first kick of the second half barely cleared the Bluejay 33-yard line.

Friends took a 31-7 lead on another sharp run by Hightower, and Marsh lost his second fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Falcon running back Anthony Bess came in to spell Hightower and scored on a handoff from 10 yards out, making the score 38-7.

The news got worse for the Bluejays on their next drive, when Aubrey faced down the Falcon pass rush and threw to Marsh. The play was broken up by Ready, and Aubrey was driven into the artificial turf. He got up clutching his throwing shoulder and sat out the remainder of the game.

The Bluejay defense halted Friends first possession of the fourth quarter after three plays, and Tabor took over near midfield. Demetrius Cox took a pitch from Anthony Davis, who took over for Aubrey, and found Marsh open for a 39-yard completion on the gadget play. Davis scampered 15 yards and scored on a quarterback keeper on the next play.

It was the last highlight for the Bluejays' night, as FU scored touchdowns on three straight series and the Tabor offense managed only a first down via penalty whistled against Friends with 1:30 left in the game.

Marsh led the team in yards from scrimmage with 72 receiving yards. Cox ran for 55 and threw for 39. Aubrey completed 8 of 18 passes and Medellin caught six passes for 40 yards and a score.
Hightower ran for 152 yards and three touchdowns. Bess ran for 99 yards and two scores. Brett Goerzen carried four times for 37 yards and two touchdowns, and Friends as a whole totaled 328 rushing yards. The Falcons totaled 410 yards of offense, running 86 plays and chalking up 30 first downs. Friends gained seven first downs via penalty. Tabor was flagged a total of 8 times for 81 yards and Friends was flagged 6 times for 80 yards.

Friends improved to 3-1 and Tabor fell to 1-3.

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