Going into Saturday’s contest, the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes and Tabor Bluejays boasted the top two defenses in the KCAC.
KWU was a tad bit better.
Kansas Wesleyan limited Tabor to just one touchdown, quarterback Johnny Feauto racked up five touchdowns, and the No. 10 Coyotes powered past the Jays, 41-12, at the Graves Family Sports Complex.
The open was expected as both defenses forced back-to-back punts. Tabor’s first try gave KWU the ball in Bluejay territory, but a sack pulled the Coyotes back. Tabor didn’t break the punting streak, forcing Sean McComas back on the field.
That’s when the Coyotes created separation as sophomore Charles Barnes III blocked the kick inside the 10 of Tabor, setting up a four-yard scoring scramble by Feauto with 8:10 to go in the first.
The rest of the opening frame remained quiet as both teams combined for 55 yards, 52 going for KWU. Wesleyan started the second quarter with a touchdown as junior running back Demarco Prewitt, the NAIA’s leader in scoring, sniffed out the end zone on a four-yard plunge, handing the Coyotes a 14-0 advantage.
Kansas Wesleyan added one more score that could have been a turnover. Feauto’s pass to the near sideline was tipped mid-flight, but the pigskin landed in the hands of sophomore Charlie Simmons. The athletic tight end shed a defender and tight-roped down the sideline for a 47-yard score with 1:34 remaining in the half.
Tabor scored on its next two drives, but only placed six on the scoreboard. Austin Smith connected on a 47-yard field goal as time expired in the first half and then added a 32-yard make early in the third, trimming the deficit to 21-6.
Feauto answered with two TD passes, a six-yarder to Simmons down the middle and a 10-yard score to senior Marquez Gilmore after a scramble. Feauto added one more for good measure that ended up setting a record. Junior Trenton Poe-Evans reeled in a four-yard pass at the goal line, giving him 32 career touchdown receptions. That broke the previous school standard at 31, set by Zach McClain in 2013.
Feauto was 18-of-26 passing for 241 yards and four scores to go with a rushing touchdown. Simmons finished with four grabs for 120 yards and a pair of TD’s. Prewitt ran for 108 yards and a score, rushing for over 100 yards for the ninth time in his career. He also added four catches for 50 yards.
Defensively, senior linebacker Pierce Williams paced the Coyotes with eight tackles, three for loss. Senior corner back Bryan Pasqual ended up with seven tackles and an interception. Junior defensive end Shaq Bradford ended up as the Salina Ortho Player of the Game, racking up five tackles, 3.5 for loss and two sacks.
Kansas Wesleyan (7-0, 6-0 KCAC) closes out the year with three of the final four on the road. KWU heads to McPherson next Saturday. Kickoff is at 1, pregame at 12:30 on FM 104.9, ksal.com and the Rocking M Media app.