Builder football opened up Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play Saturday evening in Sterling against the Warriors. Despite a second half push, Southwestern fell to Sterling 28-17 in a game that the Warriors led throughout.

Both sides struggled offensively early in the game. The Warriors were the first to find success with 2:19 remaining in the first quarter, driving 71 yards on six plays. Rashard Colquitt, senior running back, capped off the drive with a 35-yard touchdown run to give Sterling the early lead.

The Builders came back with a drive of their own early in the second quarter as they drove deep into Warrior territory on an 11-play, 66-yard drive. They could not get into the end zone, however, and settled for a 19-yard field goal by Austin Ledy, sophomore kicker, to shorten the lead to 7-3 Warriors.

Sterling did not let up after the Builders score. The Warriors scored on a one-yard touchdown run by Colquitt with 1:31 remaining in the first half. On the ensuing Builder possession, Matt Tria, sophomore punter, botched the snap on a punt and the Warriors recovered with great field position. With 13 seconds remaining in the half, Matt James, junior wide receiver, caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Keoki Burbank, senior quarterback, in front of Southwestern’s Macklin Nusz, senior defensive back. The score gave the Warriors a 21-3 lead going into the locker rooms.

The Builders stayed strong in the third quarter as Jordan Barrett, sophomore quarterback, threw a six-yard touchdown toss to Alex Hutchins, senior tight end, to cut the Warrior lead to 21-10 with 8:13 to go in the quarter.

Just when it looked as though the Builders had the momentum on their side, the Warriors struck back. Joey Garcia, senior quarterback, ran the ball in for a Sterling touchdown with 10:56 left in the game to put the Warriors back up for good.

The Builders drove the ball 89 yards on nine plays on their ensuing possession, ending the drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Barrett to Cody Melby, junior wide receiver. The score came too little too late, though, as Southwestern fell to 0-2 on the year.

Sterling was outgained by the Builders in total offensive yards 319 to 291 and also in first downs 20 to 14. The Southwestern defense also forced and recovered four fumbles on the game.

Despite throwing for two touchdowns, Barrett struggled to complete his passes, connecting on just 13 of 35 attempts. Barrett also threw three costly interceptions.

Michael Coppock, senior running back, had his second consecutive game with over 160 yards on the ground. Coppock finished with 179 yards on 30 carries.

Nathan Richter, senior linebacker, led the Builder defense with 13 total tackles.

The Builders take on conference rival Friends University September 18 at Richard L. Jantz Stadium in Winfield. The kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Clinton Dick is a freshman majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at clinton.dick@sckans.edu.