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HIGHLIGHTS: McPherson Holds Off KWU’s Late Surge

Mike Hammett - September 28, 2013 10:40 pm

The McPherson Bulldogs made a goal-line stand in the final seconds to hold off Kansas Wesleyan, 23-17, in the homecoming game for KWU at Salina Stadium.

Early, it looked like the game would be a shootout. McPherson scored first, just two minutes, 12 seconds into the game when Michael Ramos caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Hoffman to lead 7-0.

Kansas Wesleyan answered back two plays later. Trey Dallas hit Zach McClain for a 47-yard touchdown pass, tying the game at 7 with 12:02 to go in the first quarter.

Both defenses would settle in after that. McPherson would strike next midway through the second quarter. The Bulldogs would score on Havelock Pomele’s 17-yard touchdown run on fourth and one to go up 14-7 at halftime.

After a KWU punt to open the second half, McPherson added to the lead. The Bulldogs picked up a 33-yard field goal from Mike Phillips to lead 17-7.

KWU answered a short time later with a 40-yard field goal by Terry Stecker, pulling within 17-10 with 3:20 to go in the third quarter.

McPherson extended the lead to open the fourth quarter when Hoffman hit Paul Rotering for an 8-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was blocked, giving McPherson a 23-10 lead with 14:55 to go.

The teams would trade punts before the Coyotes put together a crucial scoring drive. The Coyotes ran 16 plays over 66 yards, and scored on a two-yard touchdown run by Taylor Sachs with 5:02 left to make it 23-17.

The Coyote defense forced McPherson to attempt a 52-yard field goal on the ensuing drive. Phillips missed the kick short, and the Coyotes received one final chance.

Starting at their own 35 yard line, the Coyotes picked up 19 yards on the first play of the drive as Dallas hit Korey Winn to get into McPherson territory. The Coyotes would move the chains again three plays later on a completion from Dallas to Taylor Sachs to get to the McPherson 27.

After a run for no gain and two incompletions, Dallas kept the fourth down play alive by scrambling and eventually hit Zach McClain for a 25-yard pass to the McPherson two-yard line.

However, Sachs was stuffed twice on running plays. Dallas spiked the ball with three seconds left on the clock, setting up a dramatic fourth down.

On the final play, the Coyotes ran a play-action pass, looking for McClain on a slant. However, the pass from Dallas was well overthrown. The Coyotes lobbied for a penalty, but the officials ruled the ball was uncatchable.

Kansas Wesleyan ran 81 plays and picked up 328 yards of offense, with 248 yards coming through the air. Dallas was 23-for-41 passing for 248 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. McClain had seven catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. Sachs had 64 yards rushing on 29 carries and a touchdown.

McPherson picked up 369 yards of offense on 63 plays.

McPherson improves to 3-1 overall, 2-0 in the KCAC. KWU falls to 1-3 overall, 0-2 in the KCAC.

The Coyotes host Friends next Saturday.

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