Near miss: Bluejays fall short vs. Peru State


Tabor College sophomore defensive tackle David Quarker breaks into the Peru State offensive backfield and just misses sacking Bobcats junior passer Curtis Thompson, who scrambled for a short gain on third-and-long late in the second quarter. The Bluejays trailed 6-0 at the time and took over at midfield after the Bobcats punted.

The Tabor College football team fell to 0-4 on the season with a 19-7 home loss against non-conference opponent Peru State Saturday in Hillsboro.

?It was a defensive battle,? coach Mike Gottsch said. ?I?m very proud of our ?D? as this was a gutsy performance the entire game.?

The Bobcats scored first and turned their early advantage into a 12-0 lead when Bluejays quarterback Marc Amos threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown just before halftime.

The initial score was on a quarterback keeper by Curtis Thompson and the interception return was by Max Virus.

? Offensively, turnovers any time are painful, especially when it results in a score,? Gottsch said. ?(Quarterback Marc) Amos again put up good numbers?250 yards and a touchdown?the pick was very unfortunate. Understanding and reacting to game situations is a critical part of developing into a fine college quarterback.?

?I believe he will make steady progress in his decision making as the season continues,? he added. ?As a sophomore he is certainly going through some growing pains.?

David Quarker blocked the point-after kick folling Thompson?s keeper, and Peru State failed to convert a 2-point try with 22 seconds left in the first half.

?It was another solid performance by our special teams,? Gottsch said. ?(Punter Steven) Gulledge's stats are outstanding and improving each week?very exciting as he is a red-shirt frosh.?

Bobcats running back John Noojin tacked on a third touchdown early in the fourth quarter and the extra point effectively put the game out of the Bluejays? reach at 19-0.

Tabor almost made a game of it, with a 7-play, 73-yard drive capped with a one-handed touchdown grab by Daniel Jost with 9:24 to go. Chase Carlson followed with an interception, giving the Bluejays a first down at their own 21 with 7:14 to go.

But a fumble by Derek Washington at the Peru State 35 sealed it for the Bobcats. He was limited to 29 rushing yards and lost two fumbles.

?Our line has been hit hard with the injury bug,? Gottsch said. ?Four starters are out. It all starts up front. I'm sure the replacements will work diligently to make improvements. The turnovers again were the difference in the game.?

In addition to the interception and two fumbles, Tabor turned it over on four failed fourth-down conversion tries.

Peru State held Tabor to 41 rushing yards and won the time of possession battle, 33:32 to 26:12.

?Offensive success comes from the ability to run and pass,? Gottsch said. ?Peru's defensive line limited our ability to run the ball effectively. Also when we began to gain momentum we turned the ball over on the ground.?

Jost totaled 143 yards on eight catches.

Coming?Tabor (0-4) hosts No. 11 Ottawa (5-0) for homecoming next week (Oct. 10). Ottawa features one of the outstanding pass offenses in the NAIA, with quarterback Ethan Haller targeting primarily wide receivers Clarence Anderson and Corey Schultz and tight end Taylor Burnett. Ottawa beat Southwestern (0-4) by a 54-16 margin this week.

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