Tabor football defeats Nebraska Wesleyan, 10-9

The Tabor football team won their season-opener at Nebraska Wesleyan University Saturday by a 10-9 margin.

The Bluejay defense held the Prairie Wolves to three field goals and prevented the home team from scoring late in the game after a Simon McKee pass was intercepted with Tabor clinging to a 10-9 advantage.

The game began with a three-and-out for the Prairie Wolves, but a Tabor fumble on the punt return gave the ball back to Nebraska Wesleyan at the Bluejay 22-yard line.

The Prairie Wolves could not find their way into the endzone but took a 3-0 lead with a 30-yard field goal with 12:45 left in the opening quarter.

When Tabor attempted to answer, Jared Slavens? field goal attempt was blocked, eventually leading to a second Nebraska Wesleyan kick from 29 yards out that gave the Prairie Wolves a 6-0 lead with 9:57 left in the half.

With Nebraska Wesleyan threatening, Jason Daughtry intercepted a Prairie Wolf pass deep in Bluejay territory.

Tabor went on to organize an eight-play, 96-yard scoring drive capped by a 12-yard rushing touchdown by Brandon Johnson. Slavens? kick gave Tabor its first lead, 7-6, with 26 seconds left before the half.

A McKee interception put an end to Tabor?s second-half opening drive, and Nebraska Wesleyan made good on a 35-yard field goal attempt to once again gain the lead, 9-7, with 7:59 left in the third quarter.

After a Tabor punt, the Prairie Wolves were again on the verge of a score when Matt McElroy forced a fumble that was recovered by Jordan Moshier at the Bluejay 5-yard line.

This set up a Tabor scoring drive that covered 76 yards in 15 plays and ended with a 36-yard field goal by Slavens with 12:48 left in the game.

Although a McKee pass was later intercepted by the Prairie Wolves, the Tabor defense prevented further damage, and the Bluejays held on to win, 10-9.

Tabor netted 139 yards rushing, led by McKee with 15 carries for 36 yards.

McKee accounted for all 143 of Tabor?s passing yards, going 11-for-19 with two interceptions.

Anthony Daniel led the Bluejays on defense with seven solo tackles and three assists.

Tabor will host 10th-ranked MidAmerica Nazarene University Saturday at 7 p.m.

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