Lynx Run Past Blue Jays In Home Opener

Photo by Caleb Maassen.
Photo by Caleb Maassen.

Fulton, MO, 9/25/21 – The Westminster College Blue Jays football team was coming off of a 30-29 season opening road win and returning home had them eyeing a 2-0 start.  The visiting Lynx from Rhodes College had other plans.  The Lynx road the momentum of two early scores to a 13-0 halftime lead and would break open the game in the second half on their way to a 47-7 win over the Blue Jays.

The Lynx would score on their first two possessions of the game while the Blue Jays went three and out on their two possessions for a total of two yards.  It didn't look good early on.  The Blue Jays would respond in their fourth possession, already trailing 13-0, as they would use a missed Rhodes field goal to go on a 15 play 61-yard drive that would find the Jays first and goal from the nine-yard line.  The big play for the Blue Jays was a 17-yard completion by senior quarterback Wyatt Ellis (Owensville, Mo. / Owensville) to sophomore wide receiver Peyton James (Springfield, Mo. / Springfield Catholic).  The Blue Jays would line up for a field goal attempt on 4th and goal from the Rhodes seven-yard line.  A fake field goal attempt was snuffed out immediately by the Rhodes defense and the Blue Jays would turn it over on downs.

The Blue Jays defense would hold the Rhodes offense on their next possession and force a punt.  The Blue Jays would march again on a 10 play 82-yard drive that started from the Westminster nine-yard line.  The big play was a 48-yard pass completion from Ellis to freshman wide receiver Logan Walker (Mountain Home, AR / Mountain Home) while Rhodes was called for roughing the passer and 15 yards was added on the end of the play.  The Blue jays would see another first and goal from the nine-yard line and for a second consecutive drive the Lynx defense would turn the Blue Jays away on 4th down as an Ellis pass intended for James was incomplete. The score would remain 13-0 Rhodes heading into the half.

The second half would see the Lynx widen their lead with two more touchdowns in the third quarter and three more in the fourth.  The lone bright spot for the Blue Jays came late in the fourth with 4:16 left in the game when freshman backup quarterback Clayton Collins (El Dorado Springs, MO / El Dorado Springs) hit fellow freshman Walker for a nine-yard touchdown completion. It was the first career touchdown for the two freshmen and it would account for the final score of the game, making the final 47-7 in favor of the Lynx.  The Blue Jays fell to 1-1 on the season and the Lynx improved to 1-2.

Ellis finished 11-26 for 145 yards through the air and 12 carries for 49 yards on the ground.  The Blue Jays were led in rushing by freshman running back Wyatt Robinson (Harrisburg, MO / Harrisburg) who ran for 63 yards on just two carries including a 61-yard run that helped set up the lone Blue Jay touchdown. Walker led the receiving corps with 57 yards on two receptions including his nine-yard touchdown catch.  Freshman linebacker Garrett Burger (California, MO / California R-1) lead the Blue Jay defense with 11 total tackles followed by senior linebacker Dominic Licamelli (St. Peters, Mo. / Fort Zumwalt South) and senior defensive back Easton Hanks (Ozark, Mo. / Ozark) with seven total tackles each. Freshman linebacker Cameron Offermann (Cedar Hill, MO / Luther South) recorded a team high 1.5 tackles for loss.

The Blue Jays gained 316 yards of total offense 159 yards trough the air and 157 yards on the ground. Rhodes gained 457 yards of total offense 243 yards through the air and 214 yards on the ground.  The biggest difference in the game was the Rhodes punt/kick return game.  The Lynx's JaVon Cooper returned 6 punts for 163 yards an astounding 27.3 yards per return and one kick return for 27 yards to set the Rhodes offense up with great field position all day.

The Blue Jays will be back in action on Saturday October 2nd when they travel to Minnesota to take on the University of Minnesota at Morris in their UMAC opener.  The kick off is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.