Southwestern is looking to prove that they deserve more than last place, which is where they were ranked in this year’s preseason polls. The Builders clash with the University of St. Mary at 7 p.m. Sept. 26. St. Mary’s was one of the teams at the bottom of the barrel coming into this year’s football season. They have lived up to it so far.
The Spires lost their first two games, falling to Kansas Wesleyan Sept. 19 in a low-scoring affair 10-7.
“They are beatable,” Blake Ridgway, senior defensive lineman, said. “Anyone can win any given day in this conference and we have to respect them as a conference opponent. I think we can win though.”
The purple and white took on the Falcons of Friends University Sept. 19. It was the Builders’ first road game of the season.
The Builders looked good early on, holding the Falcons to a field goal after they drove deep into Southwestern territory.
Jess Maddox, junior outside linebacker, then ran the ensuing kickoff back 86 yards to give the Builders a 7-3 advantage. That was the only bright spot of the game for the purple and white.
The Builders held onto their lead for a short while before the Falcons took it back on a 26-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Tim Rozzell to Mike Hyde, junior wide receiver. The score put Friends back on top 10-7 with 10 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Rozzell would find Hyde in the endzone again midway through the second quarter and then a third time just before the half. Rozzell also threw a touchdown pass to junior tight end Ben Hamilton as the Falcons lit up the scoreboard in the second quarter and went into the locker rooms up 30-7 over the Builders.
The second half saw much of the same as Rozzell hooked up with Doug Pierce, junior wide receiver in the flat. Pierce broke a couple of tackles and outran everyone down the sideline for a 65-yard touchdown with 10:55 left in the third quarter.
The struggles continued for the Builders as a botched snap on a punt attempt led to another Falcon score. The snap went over Matt Tria’s, freshman punter, head and rolled into the end zone where Jordan Highley, senior defensive end, fell on it for the touchdown. The score gave Friends a 45-7 lead which they held onto for the remainder of the game.
The Builders failed to move the ball offensively throughout the game. They finished with just 52 yards of total offense compared to the Falcon’s 456. Contributing to Southwestern’s offensive struggles were eight sacks allowed by the Builders. “We weren’t able to sustain drives,” Ken Crandall, head coach, said. “We put our defense on the field too long and we had too many turnovers.”
The Builders will have to find ways to get into the end zone as they look ahead to this week’s matchup. “We need to go back to doing what we do well,” said Crandall. “A mixture of run and pass. Get the running game going early to open things up for the passing attack.” Crandall’s strategy will need to be foolproof, for the Builders have only managed two scores in their first two games.
Clint Dick is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.