WICHITA – Demarco Prewitt (SR/Menifee, Calif.) wasn’t himself, slowed by a rib injury he suffered a week earlier.
And with the Friends’ defense crowding the line of scrimmage, it seemed as though the Falcons were daring Kansas Wesleyan quarterback Johnny Feauto (SR/Boulder, Colo.) to win the game with his arm.
He did just that and did so in spectacular fashion.
Feauto threw for 411 yards and three touchdowns and the defense notched five interceptions and five sacks as the No. 4-ranked Coyotes cruised to a convincing 56-3 Kansas Conference victory Saturday night at Adair-Austin Stadium.
Feauto was 21 of 30 passing with one interception. Two wide receivers finished with more than 140 yards in receptions – Stevie Williams (JR/East Los Angeles, Calif.) 146 on six catches and Johnny Carmack (SR/Santa Clara, Calif.) 143 on four. Tight end Trent Poe-Evans caught seven balls for 73 yards and two scores as the Coyotes moved virtually at will through the air.
KWU had 147 yards rushing and 558 total yards.
Feauto said Friends’ defensive strategy made his job much easier.
“When they stuff the box like that you can get out on the perimeter and we had hitches all day,” he said. “When they do that and runs are called we have the option to do that.
“The receivers did a great job getting open. … Whatever I’m thinking they do, which is pretty cool. We’re on a good page right now.”
KWU coach Myers Hendrickson wanted to Feauto get more receivers involved after completing passes to just two wide outs a week earlier against Tabor. Five caught passes Saturday.
“My goal this week was if the first read’s not there go to the second,” Feauto said. “If the second read’s not there, go to the third because someone’s usually open. If none of them are scramble and let those guys get open. … I was just really trying to go through my reads and stay in the pocket.”
The Coyotes (3-0 overall, 2-0 KCAC) scored early and often en route to a 35-3 halftime lead.
Feauto ran for the Coyotes’ first touchdown on a three-yard run on their first possession, five plays after the first of Takota Anderson (SR/Ellsworth, Kan.)’s two interception. Three possessions later Prewitt scored from the 5, one play after Feauto connected with Williams on a 48-yard completion.
KWU scored three touchdowns the second quarter – Feauto’s 50-yard pass to Williams, Richard McCauley (SR/Edmond, Okla.)’s 19-yard run on a jet sweep and Prewitt’s four-yard run.
Feauto hit Poe-Evans with a 12-yard scoring passing and ran seven yards for another TD in the third quarter, extending the lead to 49-3. He capped his night with a six-yard touchdown toss to Poe-Evans early in the fourth quarter.
“I was really proud of how we took what the defense gave us and continued to move the ball,” Hendrickson said. “Johnny was incredible tonight, he just made play after play. When the ball’s in his hands you always feel that something good’s going to happen. He’s a playmaker.”
Poe-Evans was shutout against Tabor but looked like himself Saturday.
“I had a lot of adrenalin running and I guess I just got more looks tonight,” he said.
Hendrickson said Prewitt felt better as the week went on and carried the ball 18 times Saturday. He was injured on the final play of the first half against Tabor and didn’t play the second half.
“He’s gotten better every day and felt really good tonight,” Hendrickson said. “Just getting back into it was the big key.”
The Wesleyan defense was equally spectacular, once again. In addition to the interceptions and sacks, Friends quarterbacks Dan Dawdy and Joshua Morris were a combined 7 of 31 passing for 41 yards. The Falcons (1-1) had just 170 total yards.
“We came out wanting to get turnovers,” said Anderson, the Coyotes’ free safety. “It’s easy to read the quarterback and he made it easier for me. After dropping one last week I needed to get one back.”
Linebacker Warren Singletary (SR/Hawkinsville, Ga.) had a career night with 14 tackles while Charles Barnes III had seven and an interception. Shaq Bradford (SR/San Diego, Calif.) and Daniel Killian (JR/Orange, Texas) had 1.5 sacks each.
“That was total team defense,” Hendrickson said. “I was so fired up on the sideline seeing our guys execute at such a high level. It was the front seven and it was the secondary, all 11 players were making those interceptions happen.
“Warren was all over the place. He plays the game the right way, he’s what an inside backer should look like. He plays the position very well and has a great feel for the game.”
The Coyotes play rival Bethany at 2 p.m. Saturday at Graves Family Sports Complex in their next game. The Swedes (1-1) defeated Saint Mary 21-12 Saturday night in Lindsborg.