Failure to Finish Drives Highlights Loss to MNU

Carl Sivels rushed for 41 yards and a TD

Carl Sivels rushed for 41 yards and a TD

Oskaloosa–The Statesmen football team pushed into MidAmerica Nazarene territory on numerous occasions Saturday, but failed to do much with those golden chances in a 31-12 Heart of America Athletic Conference North-South Crossover loss.

#23 William Penn (1-2) gained 343 yards and marched onto the Pioneers’ side of the field in eight of its 11 possessions. Unfortunately, the hosts turned the ball over four times (all in the second half), including thrice on downs.

The Pioneers (3-0) went right down the gridiron on the day’s first drive to claim a 3-0 edge, but the navy and gold responded with an eight-play, 68-yard possession. Carl Sivels (Sr., Washington, Iowa, Physical Education) capped the drive with a 17-yard scamper into the endzone as the navy and gold took their first and only lead at 6-3 with 6:13 left in the first quarter.

MNU, which finished with 384 yards, recaptured the advantage the next time it had the ball and then tacked on two more touchdowns in the final four minutes of the first half to own a decisive 24-6 advantage at the break.

William Penn took the opening kickoff of the second half and got down to the Pioneers’ nine-yard line, but fumbled for the contest’s lone turnover. The hosts’ next drive also ended up in MidAmerica Nazarene’s redzone, but again, the Statesmen came up empty.

A short field (MNU 30-yard line) its next time with the pigskin put WPU in position to try and scrape back into it, and two plays later, Amos Johnson (Sr., Rock Island, Ill., Mechanical Engineering) found paydirt from 14 yards out to get the Statesmen within 12 at 24-12 late in the third period.

Unfortunately, the momentum shifted right back to the visitors as they scored the game’s final points early in the fourth stanza.

Quarterback Jonathan Thomas (Jr., Americus, Ga., Undecided) experienced many instances of brilliance in his season debut, rushing for 86 yards, but he was also sacked six times, which dwindled his numbers. The junior was 3-for-10 for 63 yards as well, while Jeremiah Benson (So., Kansas City, Mo., Physical Education) caught two passes for 59 yards.

Sivels added 41 yards, while Johnson (39), Nate Van Veldhuizen (Jr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Mechanical Engineering) (33), Grant Smallwood (Jr., Wichita, Kan., Exercise Science) (29), and Brandon Polito (Sr., St. Louis, Mo., Psychology) (28) also found success on the ground.

Mason Wisse (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Physical Education) topped the defense with eight tackles and one sack. Jake Baptiste (Sr., Salt Lake City, Utah, Psychology) added seven stops as well.

“Today was just frustrating all around,” Head Coach Todd Hafner said. “I thought we competed hard, but just did not execute very well. Offensively, we were not good in the redzone, and defensively we did not communicate well and it hurt us.”

“Like we do every week, we just need to go back to work tomorrow and begin our week of preparation for Central Methodist,” Hafner added.

Next Up: William Penn remains in Oskaloosa next Saturday to host Central Methodist in a Heart North-South crossover game at 1 p.m.



Posted by on Sep 10 2017. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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