Pictured Above: Tanner Spencer, sophomore wide receiver, trots back to the huddle after a play. (File Photo)
By Cale Eirich
The Builder’s entered unfamiliar territory Saturday, facing FCS division 1 opponent Drake. Southwestern would lose to the heavy favorites 55-14.
The Bulldogs presented an interesting challenge for the Builders. “When you’re playing up two divisions, and against a division 1 opponent, a lot of things have to go right for us to be successful,” explained Marquis Hodge, senior defensive back.
The Bulldogs opened up the game fast, scoring quickly on a 66-yard touchdown pass from Grant Kraemer, senior quarterback, to Mitch McFarlane, sophomore wide receiver.
Drake then went on to open the game up, scoring on three more Kraemer passes to take a 28-0 lead late in the first half. With 1:38 left in the half the Builders were able to finally get on the board on a 39-yard touchdown reception by Donny Ebanks, junior wide receiver. Southwestern got the ball back deep in Bulldog territory following a fumble at the 17-yard line with just over a minute left in the first half.
“We finally had some decent field position and were able to capitalize converting a fourth down on a fade route for a touchdown,” said Brad Griffin, head football coach. “Going into the half we felt pretty good about things.”
The Builders were unable to stop Drake’s passing attack as Kraemer and McFarlane connected for their third touchdown of the game, extending the lead to 35-14 early in the second half. Drake’s defense stymied the Builder offense forcing them to go three and out on five possessions in a row to start the second half.
“Our plan was to come out and score the first drive,” said Christian Gordon, junior quarterback, “I missed a couple of reads that could have moved the sticks but instead we had to punt.”
Kraemer found the end-zone through the air once more for his sixth touchdown pass of the night, giving him 313 passing yards on the game.
“Their size wore on us and we couldn’t get a stop defensively to get ourselves off the field,” said Griffin. “Other than the first score of the game where we left the guy open in the middle of the field we were close on making some plays, but they were able to make plays and we couldn’t.”
The Bulldogs would tack on two more scores. “Collectively we just need to play harder,” said Marquis Hodge. “This week we’ll play a team in the NAIA, and in our conference. We will be ready.”
Cale Eirich is a freshman majoring in communication. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org