Upset Bid Comes Up Empty at Benedictine

Atchison, Kan.–The William Penn football team executed a fairly balanced attack and was in position to possibly knock off the #2 team in the NAIA, but the hosts pulled away down the stretch in a 47-11 Statesmen loss to Benedictine in a Heart of America Athletic Conference North-South Crossover game Saturday.

WPU (0-2) tried to exchange early blows with the defending national runners-up. The Ravens (2-0) opened the game by marching down the field and scoring a touchdown (missed extra point). The visitors were also competent picking up yardage, but their drive stalled just inside the BC redzone, forcing a field goal try which sailed outside the goalposts to keep the contest at 6-0.

The home crew more than doubled the edge on the following drive and then pushed the advantage to 19-0 late in the opening half. Backed into a corner and needing something positive before intermission, William Penn finally produced three points. Headlined by a pair of first-down tosses from Tyler Wood (Sr., Newton, Iowa, Sports Management), the navy and gold pushed inside Benedictine’s 20-yard line and Hunter Behm (Sr., West Haven, Utah, Mechanical Engineering) connected on a 31-yard field goal to make it 19-3 at intermission.

Both programs came up short in their opening possessions of the second half, but on their second drive, the Statesmen struck gold. Five plays netted 63 yards, capped by Ben Sherman (Jr., Troy, Pa., Elementary Education) running in the pigskin from 13 yards out. The junior finished with a team-high 69 rushing yards on 16 carries.

Within a score at 19-11 (two-point conversion good), new life was breathed into WPU. Unfortunately, the Ravens would have no part in a tight matchup, finding the endzone on back-to-back drives to lead 33-11. They were then denied on their next possession, but recorded points on defense with an interception returned for a score.

Benedictine added one more TD in the waning minutes to turn a once intriguing battle into a lopsided event.

As the scoreboard read all zeroes, William Penn was outgained 389-268 with 165 yards coming on the ground and 103 through the air. Wood completed nine of his 14 attempts with two balls each being caught by the trio of Tyler Phillips (Sr., Altus, Okla., Physical Education), Luke Masters (Jr., Branson, Mo., Undecided), and Jeremiah Benson (Sr., Kansas City, Mo., Physical Education). Six different Statesmen hauled in a throw Saturday.

Complementing Sherman’s day was Archer Charles (So., Guntersville, Ala.) who notched 52 rushing yards on seven runs.

Defensively, Jace Neugebauer (So., McArthur, Calif., Business Management) topped the crew with 10 stops, while Colton Horak (Fr., Waco, Iowa, Sports Management) had nine, including a team-high four solo tackles. Resean Coleman (Sr., River Rouge, Mich., Exercise Science) pestered the Raven quarterback the most with one sack to go along with six tackles. He also forced a fumble (not recovered by WPU) and blocked an extra point. Damijion Jackson (Fr., Duncanville, Texas, Kinesiology) also blocked a point-after-try.

“I again thought our team played extremely hard and really good football for three quarters,” Head Coach Todd Hafner said. “We will talk about and continue to preach how important it is to finish everything we do, including finishing plays, drives, quarters, and games.”

“I love this team and we will win games,” Hafner said. “We will get some key players back this week and look forward to a great week of practice.”

Next Up: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa next Saturday to host MidAmerica Nazarene in another Heart Crossover game at noon.

Posted by on Sep 8 2019. 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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