Above: Dallas Allen, senior linebacker, and Ka’Darius McQueen, senior defensive back, celebrate their first touchdown, placing them 8-0 against the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes early in the game. (Photography by Tessa Castor/Staff Photographer)
By Chris Campbell
It was a game of inches that nearly resulted in a win for Builder football on Saturday night. One or two plays in the other direction could have very easily altered the outcome of this KCAC matchup with the Coyotes of Kansas Wesleyan.
In retrospect, the Builders (1-4, 1-2 KCAC), fell on the losing end of the spectrum 34-29 at Richard L. Jantz Stadium in this highly anticipated matchup.
“We’ve been pretty competitive all year and we had an opportunity at the end, but we couldn’t get it done,” said Brad Griffin, head coach. “It’s a game of inches and we have to find a way to finish.”
Despite the five point loss, Southwestern outplayed the Coyotes in virtually every statistical category. Most notably, the rushing game disrupted KWU’s defense consistently throughout the night as Silas Jefferson, senior running back, was responsible for 131 of SC’s 231 total rushing yards in the contest.
“Our offensive line manhandled everyone,” said Jefferson. “I have to give them the credit because they always keep me going.”
The contest remained close virtually all night with the score remaining within one possession by the end of the first half. The Builders conceded 27 points to the Coyote offense, but noticeable adjustments were made to stymie KWU’s strategy in the second frame.
SC outscored Kansas Wesleyan 9-7 in the third quarter by way of Christian Gordon, junior quarterback, and a 29-yard touchdown reception to Carvontez Gates, junior wide receiver, with 4:18 to play.
Nonetheless, that would be the final scoring drive of the game on both sides as KWU forced a Moundbuilder turnover on downs in the final minutes of regulation.
“That’s football right there,” said Jefferson. “Next week we’re going to mold it all together.”
Even though their overall record doesn’t display it, the Moundbuilder football program is making improvements brick by brick, one day at a time.
“We have a tough, resilient team,” said Griffin. “This game means so much to all of them.”
“I feel like we’re battle tested now,” said Jefferson. “We don’t point fingers on offense.”
Griffin emphasizes his philosophy among his young team with a saying embedded in the Builder locker room, “Those who stay will be rewarded.” It’s only a matter of time until we see Builder football reap their reward.
Chris Campbell is a junior majoring in communication. You may email him at email@example.com.