Dominant Second Half Lifts Blue Jays Over Eureka, 26-18

Dominant Second Half Lifts Blue Jays Over Eureka, 26-18

The Westminster football team had a dominant second half on Saturday to lift them over the Eureka Red Devils, 26-18. After the week six win, the Westminster Blue Jays are 4-1 in conference play and 4-2 overall. 

Eureka scored first in the game, converting their fourth and 4 into a 19-yard touchdown with 3:15 left in the first quarter. The point after attempt (PAT) was good, giving them the 7-0 lead. The Red Devils went up 10-0 after a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter.

The Blue Jays started their fourth drive of the quarter with 3:37 left in the half on the 50 yard line after junior Jack Williams returned the Red Devil punt 19 yards. Sophomore Latif Adams had an 11-yard rush and a 32-yard rush to bring the Blue Jays to the Eureka 6-yard line. After multiple penalties on both teams, Eureka's pass interference penalty moved the Blue Jays to the Eureka 4-yard line. Adams rushed three yards and sophomore Ketrick Large rushed in the final yard for the touchdown. Senior kicker Kevin Ludwig's PAT was good, bringing the score to 10-7.

Eureka's offense refused to let the touchdown slow them down, and just 57 seconds later, they scored on a 41-yard pass. The kick attempt failed, bringing the game to 16-7 with 15 second left in the half. The Blue Jays made it to the Eureka 25-yard line, but the clock ran out.

Westminster received to start the second half, but were unable to make it into Eureka territory. On Eureka's next drive, freshman Anthony Washington intercepted the Eureka pass to start the Blue Jay drive. Eureka held the Blue Jays to 3 and out, but on Eureka's first play in the next drive, sophomore Antoine Harris forced a fumble that Westminster recovered on the Eureka 33-yard line. Adams' scored the Blue Jays' second touchdown of the day with a three-yard rush. The Blue Jays' went for the two point conversion to tie the game, but the pass was intercepted and returned for a defensive PAT to bring the game to 18-13.

The Blue Jay defense wasted no time in getting the offense back on the field as senior safety Bret Robertson intercepted Eureka's pass and returned the ball 20 yards to the Eureka 29-yard line. Adams and freshman Matt Quarles rushed the ball 21 yards and senior Jantzen Bradford rushed five yards to get them on the Eureka 3-yard line. On second and goal, Adams rushed the ball in to take the 19-18 lead. The two-point conversion failed again, leaving the score at 19-18.

The Blue Jay defense once again held Eureka to 3 and out, aided by a nine-yard sack by senior Christian Houston and junior Ayo Oyesanya. The Blue Jays took over on their own 35-yard line with 1:13 left in the third. Freshman quarterback Eain Roberts completed a 43-yard pass to junior Mike Washington to bring the Blue Jays to the Eureka 22-yard line and a 5-yard Adams' rush ended the quarter at the Eureka 17. Quarles started the fourth with a 9-yard rush, and Adams rushed the ball in the remaining eight yards for another Blue Jay touchdown. Ludwig kicked the good PAT to give the Blue Jays the 26-18 lead.

Freshman Connor Albrecht intercepted a pass on Eureka's next drive, stopping them on the Westminster 27-yard line. Albrecht returned the ball 17 yards to start the Blue Jays' drive on their own 45-yard line. The next three drives were 3 and out. The Blue Jay defense held Eureka from getting inside the Westminster 20-yard line the rest of the game, ending it with the 26-18 comeback win.

 Adams led the rushing game wish 116 yards on 30 attempts and scored three touchdowns. Washington recorded 79 receiving yards on 5 attempts, averaging 15.8 yards. Roberts threw seven completions for 92 yards.

On kickoff returns, Quarles averaged 25.7 yards per return.

Freshman linebacker Hagen Harrison led the Blue Jay defense with 12 tackles including eight solo tackles and three tackles for a loss of 16 yards. Robertson and freshman Zach Roseman each recorded eight tackles.

Ludwig went 2-2 on extra points. On the punt, he punted a total of 314 yards with one touchback and one in the 20-yard line. On the kickoff, he averaged 47.2 yards.

The Blue Jays host Martin Luther College on week seven with a 1:00 pm kickoff. The October 17 game will be Westminster's Homecoming game. At halftime, the six Westminster Athletics Hall of Fame inductees will be introduced along with the Homecoming coronation.