Senior quarterback Kelly Cordova made sure that the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes went out on top.
Cordova capped off his collegiate career with six total touchdowns, sophomore tight end Trenton Poe-Evans tied the school record for most receiving touchdowns in a season and the No. 24 Coyotes marched by the Ottawa Braves 50-24. KWU finished with an 8-3 record, putting its total to 27-6 over the past three years.
Ottawa opened the game with a 21-yard field goal by Kyle Wokutch. Wesleyan answered with a three-play drive that ended with a Cordova 47-yard strike to Poe-Evans. The Braves’ respons was aided by Coyote penalties, setting up a 12-yard TD throw by Conner Byers to Mauricio Uribe with 3:36 to go in the first.
From there, Cordova and the Coyotes took over. Kansas Wesleyan scored four times in the second stanza. Cordova had TD runs of 44 and 1. After that, the senior from Frisco, Texas hooked up with Poe-Evans on a five-yard shovel pass. With 1:32 remaining, Cordova found senior receiver Johan Velez for a 28-yard score, putting the Coyotes ahead 34-10 at the break.
KWU freshman kicker Jhonatan Morales kicked off the second half with a 40-yard field goal, but the Coyotes were silent for the rest of the frame. Ottawa didn’t have much scoring either, getting a 22-yard TD run from tailback James Reeder, making the score 37-17 in favor of KWU.
Poe-Evans’ record-tying grab came at the 12:13 mark in the game when he had a wide open three-yard reception. Wesleyan senior defensive end closed out the game with a two-yard plunge with 29 seconds to play.
Cordova finished with 380 yards and six touchdowns. In his final three games, the gunslinger had 1,138 total yards and 19 touchdowns. Poe-Evans hauled in seven balls for 123 yards and three scores. The stellar sophomore tied Ricky Roberts’ 16 TD’s in a season back in 2010.
Senior linebacker Garrett Updegraft had 12 stops, putting him at 120 for his final campaign. That’s the most in one year since Brady Harwell’s 125 in 2013.
While 24 seniors graduate, three coaches leave as well. After 42 years of coaching, including 18 at Kansas Wesleyan, offensive line coach Rex Pippenger is retiring. Graduate assistants Wes Fleming and Braxton Peck move on to the next level as well.