Above: Silas Jefferson, senior running back, runs the ball during Saturday’s game against Bethel. (Tessa Castor/Staff photographer)
By Cale Eirich
On the shoulders of their defense, the Moundbuilders grabbed their second straight KCAC victory improving to 3-6 on Saturday. Southwestern depended on their defense to bend but not break to keep them in the game. Before Christian Gordon, junior quarterback, and company even took the field, the Builder defense gave them a 7-0 edge on a 46-yard Travon Crockett, freshman defensive back, pick six.
“It’s just a mentality to bend but don’t break. We want to hold them to a field goal at most,” said David Matthews, junior linebacker. “Really it’s a testament to our coaches – they put us in good positions and we just went out there and executed.”
Bethel scored on a 3-yard Tyshawn Simon rushing touchdown to cap an 11-play, 70-yard drive, bringing the score to 7-7.
The score remained deadlocked through the third quarter until Whitfield, senior defensive back and homecoming king, picked off an overthrown pass and took off 64 yards down the sideline to put the Builders on top early in the fourth quarter.
“I played over the top. When I saw the ball overthrown I made the most of my chances and I just had to run as fast as I could to the end zone with a couple blocks from my brothers,” said Whitfield. “It felt great, it changed the momentum.”
On the heels of Whitfield’s game changing play, Southwestern used their newfound momentum to begin to beat down the Treshers with their run game.
Southwestern’s Silas Jefferson, senior running back, busted the game wide open with a 44-yard touchdown run to move the score to 21-7.
“We were struggling on offense – we couldn’t get a drive going. We kept getting penalties, and I just knew I had to blow something open and make something happen for the team,” said Jefferson. “Playmakers have to make plays and that was the perfect time.”
The defense shined yet again with Ka’Darius McQueen, senior defensive back, collecting the Builder’s third interception of the day.
“We gave a lot of effort and had a lot of grit on defense,” said Whitfield.
With the ball back on offense the Moundbuilders continued to pound the ball, this time in the form of a 33-yard Keyshawn Wyatt, freshman running back, touchdown run, pushing their lead to 28-7.
“Once you bust one run it’s kind of contagious and that shows when you give it to the other running backs,” said Jefferson.
With under a minute to go, Southwestern padded their final score with another touchdown on the ground by Mike’l Anderson, junior running back, making the final score 35-7.
The Builders are confident that they can use their play and current winning streak to finish out their season strong, explained Silas Jefferson.
Cale Eirich is a junior majoring in communication. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.