WPU Falls to Kansas Wesleyan

Salina, Kan.–A battle against one of the top powers in the NAIA saw the Statesmen football team take on the Coyotes of Kansas Wesleyan. While the navy and gold did limit the Coyotes in three of the four quarters, a huge second quarter by the home side put WPU away 42-6. The defeat drops the Statesmen to 2-2 overall.

A morning showdown saw the Coyotes get the ball to start things out. The Statesmen defense rose to the occasion and forced a punt after giving up only 15 yards. The offense then went to work and gave KWU a surprise as Alex Crehan, (Sr., Troy, Ill., Business Management) connected with Adrian Aviles (Sr., Chicago, Ill., Biology) for a 65-yard pass play. The team unfortunately then almost gave it up on a muffed hand-off and the drive stalled in the red zone. With the field goal team on, the kick by Cael Crawford (Fr., Mount Vernon, Iowa, Business) missed wide right.

Both sides were forced to punt on their next drives as a couple of flags contributed to the stalemate. However, the Coyotes would convert on a fourth-and six that set them up inside the WPU 10-yard line. They punched it home on the next play to take a 7-0 advantage.

The following drive for the Statesmen got them close to midfield, but they were again forced to punt. They did keep Kansas Wesleyan bottled up on the next drive to get the ball back. WPU’s offense unfortunately came up short once more and after that, the floodgates opened. The Coyotes scored three touchdowns over the span of the next seven minutes. They struck for six on a 45-yard reception, a three-yard rush after a fumble by Danny Amezquita (Fr., San Antonio, Texas, Kinesiology), and a nine-yard reception after another punt by Jace Neugebauer (Sr., McArthur, Calif., Business Management).

Down 28-0 at the half, the numbers were grim, but the Statesmen did not give up, moving the ball 25 yards to start the second half. Archer Charles (Jr., Guntersville, Ala., Sports Management) and Rives Grogan (So., Mansfield, Texas, Political Science) split the carries. Neugebauer was needed to punt again as the defense trotted onto the field.

A more rested unit performed closer to expectations in the third. Turner Ellis (Fr., Urbandale, Iowa, Secondary Education) picked up a sack, but KWU grinded away until they were at the WPU 14-yard line. Another passing touchdown made it 35-0, but would also conclude the scoring for the period.

A bright spot finally came for the Statesmen as Luke Masters (Jr., Branson, Mo.) took the kickoff 65 yards to the KWU 35-yard line. From there, Amezquita and Andrews tried to pound away for the navy and gold as the third quarter came to a close. Masters would take it from the KWU 12 to the one-yard line to open the final quarter. After Chauncey Andrews (Fr., Tusla, Okla., Psychology) tried to punch it in on the next two plays, Amezquita dove in on a fourth-and-goal play to put William Penn on the board. His first touchdown as a Statesmen made it 35-6 as the two-point conversion was stopped.

Kansas Wesleyan would score on its next drive to make it 42-6. William Penn owned the ball for the final eight minutes of the game as it rushed its way from their own 25-yard line to the KWU 19, but they got no closer as the game clock hit zero.

Andrews led the team with 91 rushing yards on 22 carries, while Grogan was second with 56 yards on 14 attempts. Aviles had two catches for 67 yards to lead the receivers. Neugebauer totaled 211 yards on five punts to average 42.2 on the day. Defensively, Ellis led the pack with seven total tackle, while Brian Davison (So., Goodyear, Ariz., Sports Management) had six. Rashaad Ollie (Sr., Foley, Ala., Sports Management) and Neugebauer each had five. Ellis collected two sacks on the day to lead the team.

The team collected 263 total yards, of which 195 came via the run game. The navy and gold struggled on third down, going 1-13. They did make some of that up though by going 5-6 on fourth down. The team also had six flags for 65 yards and let their opponents gain 463 total yards, 339 of that coming through the air.

“It was a tough day for our football team,” said Head Coach Todd Hafner. “We went in a little under-manned and when Alex went down, it seemed to take the wind out of our sails for a bit. I thought our kinds fought hard to the end. We played a very good football team today, but we will bounce back and feel good that we will be ready to play again next week.”

Next Up: Heart of America Athletic Conference North Division play will get going as the team travels to Lamoni to face Graceland for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Posted by on Oct 11 2020. 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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