Football Narrowly Defeats MacMurray, 24-22

Football Narrowly Defeats MacMurray, 24-22

The Westminster football team narrowly defeated MacMurray College on Saturday afternoon, September 19, and senior kicker Kevin Ludwig broke the Westminster field goal record in the process. The 24-22 win brings the Westminster Blue Jays to 2-1 on the season and leaves them undefeated in conference play (2-0). 

The MacMurray Highlanders won the coin toss and chose to defer to the second half. A 32-yard rush by sophomore Latif Adams brought the Blue Jays into MacMurray territory, and 33 more rushing yards and a nine-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Trent White to freshman Teddy Deas brought the Blue Jay to MacMurray's four yard line. The Blue Jays fumbled on the one yard line, and MacMurray recovered in the endzone to take over on the Westminster 20-yard line.

MacMurray's and Westminster's next drives were uneventful, and the Highlanders took over on their own 44-yard line with 8:03 on the clock in the first quarter. A five-yard touchdown rush put the Highlanders up, and their PAT was good, giving them a 7-0 lead with 5:01 left in the first quarter. 

Westminster answered with a 32-yard touchdown rush by Adams just under two minutes later. Ludwig's PAT was good, knotting the game at 7-7.

MacMurray pushed the ball down the field and on 4-9, the Highlanders were within field goal territory. They made a 27-yard field goal to take the 10-7 lead heading into the second quarter.

The Blue Jays started the second quarter with a 43-yard field goal by Ludwig to tie the game at 10-10. The field goal broke a  15-year old record for Westminster. They scored again with 8:13 on the clock when Adams rushed the ball 25 yards into the endzone. Ludwig hit the PAT, giving the Blue Jays the 17-10 advantage.

MacMurray scored with seven seconds left in the half, but the point after attempt failed, leaving the Blue Jays up by one point, 17-16.

The Blue Jays held the Highlanders to three-and-out to start the second half. They started on their own 34-yard line and a 27-yard pass from White to Adams gave the Blue Jays another touchdown. Ludwig hit the PAT, giving the Blue Jays a 24-16 lead. 

Senior Carlos Weeden Jr. cut MacMurray's drive short with an interception on the Westminster 46-yard line, and returned the ball 13 yards. The Highlanders did not let it affect them as they interecepted the Blue Jays' pass on the next play, and they converted the drive into a 11-yard rushing touchdown. They went for the two-point conversion to tie the game, but the pass was incomplete, leaving the lead with Westminster, 24-22. 

MacMurray started the fourth quarter with the ball, but was forced to punt. They quickly took the possession back with a fumble recovery at their own 29-yard line. The Blue Jay defense held the Highlanders to their own 41-yard line on their drive, but the Blue Jays were unable to convert their drive into a scoring position, forcing them to punt. 

MacMurray made their way to the Westminster 31-yard line with just over two minutes remaining in the game, but a sack by junior Ayo Oyesanya for a loss of four yards followed by a sack by senior Steven Scott for a huge loss of 14 yards left the Highlanders at 4 and 24 on the Westminster 49-yard line. Scott broke up the Highlander's pass, leaving the Blue Jays to take over at their own 49-yard line with 2:12 left in the game. 

The Blue Jays took a knee, running the time down to just :01 on the clock as MacMurray took over. The Highlanders attempted a pass, but freshman Jake Money broke up the pass to end the game with the 24-22 win. 

The Blue Jays totaled 480 offensive yards with 264 rushing yards and 216 receiving yards. White completed 19 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown. Adams led the Blue Jays in the air and on the ground. He scored two rushing touchdowns and rushed for 169 yards on 18 carries. He also finished the game with one receiving touchdown and 87 receiving yards on four receptions.

Ludwig averaged 59.2 yards per kickoff with 237 yards and one touchback. He also had 171 yards on four punts and three landed within the 20-yard line. 

The Blue Jay defense was led by Scott. He finished with four solo tackles and nine assisted tackles with a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss and one pass break up. Freshman Hagen Harrison and Weeden Jr. each has six solo tackles.

The Blue Jays play their first road conference game on Saturday, September 26, at Greenville College. Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m. in Greenville, Illinois.