By Clinton Dick
After only getting through half of the first quarter Saturday evening, the Builder football team fell to McPherson Sunday night in Jantz Stadium 10-13.
The game was delayed Saturday with 7:07 remaining in the first quarter due to severe weather and lightning in the area. For more than three hours, teams and fans waited for play to resume until the decision was made to reschedule for Sunday at 6 p.m.
“It is kind of a weird feeling,” said Ken Crandall, head football coach. “It is hard to explain when you bring your guys back and prepare for another game.”
Play resumed at the scheduled time with McPherson up 6-0 thanks to a touchdown the previous night. The touchdown came on a shovel pass from Matt Summers-Johnson, junior quarterback, to Chase Ozburn, senior wide receiver, who ripped it up the middle of the field for 46 yards into the endzone. The extra point attempt was botched following the score.
What figured to be a possible shootout turned quickly into a defensive struggle as neither team put up points until Jordan Barrett, junior quarterback, connected with Wayne Clutter, senior wide receiver, in the right corner of the endzone for a Builder touchdown with 6:14 remaining in the second quarter. The score capped off a seven play, 69-yard drive.
Ttorbin Harper, sophomore linebacker, made a huge play for the Builder defense on the ensuing Bulldog possesion, picking off Jake Snodgrass, junior quarterback, deep in McPherson territory.
Austin Ledy, junior kicker, and the Builders capitalized with a 28-yard field goal to go up 10-6 at halftime.
The low scoring affair continued into the third quarter where neither team yielded any points. Travan Jones, senior running back, emerged as the Bulldog’s go-to running back after only accumulating 15 yards in the first half. Jones carried for 66 yards in the third quarter alone and scored on a one-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter. Jones would finish the night with 101 yards on 26 carries.
The Builders struggled to convert on opportunities in the final quarter down by three. Ledy missed two field goals, one from 50 yards out and another inside 30 yards. Three times Southwestern’s defense forced McPherson into a three and out and gave the ball to the offense, but the team could not find any success moving the ball.
“It is never a player’s fault when you lose,” said Crandall. “We need to find a way to capitalize and right now we are just not doing it. We had an opportunity to win and we didn’t.”
Barrett struggled to connect with his receivers throughout the game, completing five of 20 passes for 69 yards.
“They did a good job of putting people in the box and forcing us to pass,” said Crandall. “We are just not passing the ball very well.”
The dynamic duo of senior running backs for the Builders, Cory Holbert and Cass Myers, helped the team gain 167 yards on the ground. Holbert led in rushing with 85 yards on 19 carries, while Myers had 64 yards on 18 carries.
Penalties and time of possession played a major role in the game with McPherson committing nine penalties for 140 yards. Ninty-five of the Bulldog’s penalty yards came in the first half. The Bulldogs had the ball for 36:06 compared to the Builder’s 23:44.
The loss brings the team to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play. They travel to Sterling College Saturday to play the Warriors. Sterling is also coming off of a three-point loss to Kansas Wesleyan 24-21. The game kicks off at 6 p.m.
Clinton Dick is a junior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.