The Tabor College football team took care of business this afternoon at Southwestern College in Winfield, downing the Builders, 51-27, to improve to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in the KCAC. The Bluejays move to the No. 2 spot in conference standings behind Ottawa University (7-1) and are scheduled to host No. 4 Friends University (6-4, 5-3) Saturday.
Tabor got things rolling early with a touchdown on the quarterback keeper from Simon McKee seconds into the first quarter, then with eight minutes remaining McKee connected with wide receiver Scott Bauer in the red zone for a touchdown. The Joe Cannon PAT kick gave Tabor a 13-0 lead.
The Builders put points on the board on their next possession, scoring on the quarterback keeper from Tyler Crandall at 4:22 to narrow the Bluejays’ lead, 13-7. Southwestern kicked off to Tabor, but the Builders caught a break as they forced a Bluejay fumble on the return and recovered it on the TC 18-yard line. But the Tabor defense came to life and earned not one, but two big stops on fourth-down plays, as a late hit penalty negated the first stop. On fourth and 13 with 1:43 left in the period, Tabor’ JoJo Galvez blocked a field goal to deny Southwestern any points on the drive.
Cannon scored a field goal for Tabor to begin the second period, and then the Bluejays picked up another touchdown with just under seven minutes left in the half when running back James Monroe broke two tackles near midfield and ran in for the score to make it 23-7. Monroe picked up another touchdown with 10 seconds left before the half, catching the strike in the middle of the end zone to give Tabor a 30-7 lead going into the locker room.
Crandall led the Builders’ second-half rally with a touchdown on the keeper three minutes into the second half, making it 30-14, then added six more points in the third quarter after the PAT was no good. Monroe earned yet another touchdown for Tabor on a 13-yard carry with 2:36 on the clock.
Running back Nate Harrison scored seconds into the final period on a four-yard scramble, making it 44-20, before McKee added a touchdown on the keeper at 5:33 to put Tabor up, 51-20. Southwestern’s Jordan Barrett connected on a 46-yard touchdown pass to Skylor Kistler at 3:24 for the final 24-point margin.
Monroe led the Bluejays on the ground, with 18 carries for 125 yards, followed by McKee (18/94), Tim Rozzell (5/34) and Harrison (3/27). McKee was also 14-of-21 through the air for 180 yards, with Bauer nabbing top receiving honors with two catches for 50 yards, including a touchdown. Other receivers included Brandon Johnson (2/39), Roger Mujica (4/36) and Monroe (3/21).
On the defensive side of the ball, Donnell Davis had an interception, Dylan Delk a sack and Galvez a blocked field goal to supplement five solo tackles each from Nik France and Joe Jimenez. Also contributing were Chris Sanborn, Josh Murphy and Daniel Krehbiel with four solo tackles a piece.