Westminster Football Falls in Overtime to Northwestern

Westminster Football Falls in Overtime to Northwestern

FULTON, Mo. - Westminster football was defeated by Northwestern (Minn.) in a dramatic overtime finish, falling 20-17 in overtime.

The Blue Jays end the season 3-6 overall and 3-4 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. 

Prior to the game, Westminster honored its 11 seniors, Kidd Sutherlin, Isaiah Ruhman, Trevor Keither, Denzel Dean, Anthony Washington, Lucas Robinson, Jackson Ringhausen, Jacob Money, Ketrick Large, Trent White, and Matt Quarles

"Senior days are always bittersweet for us," said Westminster Head Coach John Welty. "I'm sorry to see them go, but I know they are well prepared for the future. They've worked hard and I'm excited for them to start their future."

After a scoreless first quarter, the Blue Jays struck first in the second quarter, scoring on a 10-yard run from Kalyn Davis. The drive lasted two minutes, spanning six plays for 53 yards, which included another 16-yard rush from Davis. 

The Blue Jays went into the half with the 7-0 lead, but the Eagles opened the third quarter with a 92-yard kickoff return to even the score at seven apiece. 

Westminster got on the board again late in the third quarter, scoring its first field goal of the season on a Brad Hammel kick from 18 yards out. 

The Eagles again opened up the fourth quarter with an immediate score to go up 14-10, completing a double-pass play with the quarterback Damon Clapper making the reception touchdown on a 44-yard pass from the running back Payton Dowdry. 

After forcing a fumble, the Eagles again took possession of the ball and added a field goal to go up 17-10 with 14:17 left to play. 

The enxt Eagles possession, the Westminster defense took control. Jordan Shockley grabbed an interception at the Westminster 47 to give possession back to the Blue Jays, who capitalized offensively on the defensive play. 

Trent White completed an 11-yard pass to Lucas Robinson, then rushing for 15 yards to take him to the Northwestern 27. Another White pass to Robinson for 27 yards was good enough for a touchdown to tie the game at 17 with 10 minutes left to play. 

The Blue Jay defense forced two more punts from the Eagles to force the game into overtime. 

The Blue Jays received the ball first in overtime on the Eagle 25-yardline. White opened overtime with a 14-yard rush followed by a five yard rush from Ketrick Large for a first down. White rushed again at the one-yardline with both teams pushing at the line of scrimmage, but no touchdown signal was given and the ball was popped loose and ruled a fumble on the field, giving the ball back to the Eagles. Northwestern kicked a field goal to take the win in overtime, 20-17. 

White went 14-28 passing with 163 yards. Davis led the team in carries with 19 for 71 yards, followed by Large 12 carries for 50 yards. Matt Quarles made seven receptions for 89 yards while Robinson made two receptions for 38 yards. 

Jordan Shockley and Drake Ortiz led the team in tackles with six apiece, including five solo tackles for both defenders. Shockley added one tackles for a loss and an interception while Ortiz forced a fumble and added a fumble recovery at the Eagles one-yardline to preserve the game for Westminster. 

"Our upperclassmen set the bar high for our underclassmen," said Welty. "It is up to them to hold that bar high. We built some character today and our returners know they have something to prove in this league. They know where we want to go as a program and if we stick together next season, we could be unstoppable."