FULTON, Mo. - Westminster football exploded offensively in the second half for four touchdowns to overcome the Minnasota-Morris Cougars 25-7 on Homecoming.
The Blue Jays improve to 2-5 overall and 2-4 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.
"We had a monkey on our back before this game, and I told the players that they really had two opponents today - one being ourselves," said Westminster Head Coach John Welty. "Winning this game wasn't going to happen by accident, we had to do it ourselves."
Both teams got out to a slow start offensively, while the Westminster defense remained strong in the first half to keep the Cougars scoreless.
At the 9:39 mark of the third quarter, Westminster got things going on the offense with their first drive of the half. After six carries in the drive, Ketrick Large punched in his first touchdown of the season on a short two-yard run to give Westminster the 6-0 advantage.
On the very next Blue Jay drive, Westminster scored again, this time on a big 21-yard rush from Trent White, his first of three touchdowns on the day.
"We kept pounding the ball and we wore them out," said Welty. "We played well up front and added some bigs plays, and we just kept going with what's been working for us."
The Cougars answered immediately with a big play of their own, scoring on a long touchdown pass to make the score 12-7 with five minutes to play in the third quarter, but the Blue Jays had an answer of their own, again from a big 41-yard rush from White.
White ran the ball in for his second touchdown of the day, making the score 19-7. On the next Cougar drive, the Westminster defense kept the momentum going with an interception from Jordan Shockley, the first of two Westminster inceptions on the day.
"We are playing as good of defense as anyone else in the conference," said Welty. "It was really nice to see our offense and defense clicking at the same time today. We knew that scoring that first time would open the floodgates and boost our confidence and that's what happened."
The second interception came from Jacob Money with 8:10 left to play in the game, securing a key possession for the Blue Jays and stopping hope of a Cougar comeback.
After Money's interception, Westminster scored on the next drive, this time on a 48-yard pass from White to Alec Fleetwood, ensuring the Blue Jay win and making the score 25-7 to end the game.
White tallied 99 yards passing, going 8-18 with one touchdown and one interception. He also led the way in rushing yards, with 23 carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Large added 27 carries for 86 yards and one touchdown.
The defense brought a balanced attack, with the top four tacklers each adding four each, including Jackson Ringhausen, Ben Heiman, Anthony Washington, and Dakota Jakoubek. Jakoubek added 2.5 sacks for a loss of 14 yards, while Ben Holt, Logan Decker, and Drake Ortiz also added a sack.
"We just need to keep plugging away," said Welty. "We can't give up on ourselves and lose the faith. I'm happy with where they are - they earned this win today."
Westminster returns to action on the road at Crown October 27.