St. Bonifacius, MN, 11/13/21 – Taylor Dobbins (Laurie, Mo. / Versailles) was about to play the final football game of the season on Saturday. The Blue Jays star running back entered the game with 741 rushing yards on 142 carries with 6 touchdowns over the seasons seven games. A fine season by any measure. Then came Saturday afternoon in Minnesota. When the dust(snow) settled Dobbins had carried the ball 42 times for 308 yards and five touchdowns bringing his season totals to 1049 yards rushing 184 carries and 11 touchdowns. All three marks were single game school records. Most importantly, Dobbins record setting day led the Blue Jays to a 56-35 victory on the road at the Crown College Storm in their season finale. The win improves the Blue Jays to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the UMAC. Crown dropped to 1-8 and 1-4 in the UMAC.
The Blue Jays first score was set in motion by the Jays defense. The Storm were driving deep into Blue Jay territory when senior linebacker Cooper Mange (Ashland, Mo. / Southern Boone) stripped the ball from a storm receiver at the Blue Jays nine-yard line and recovered the fumble at the nine-yard line. 91 yards later Dobbins would take the ball in from 12 yards out for his first score of the day along with the Tim Branneky (St. Louis, Mo. / Lutheran High School North) point after made it 7-0 Blue Jays at the end of the first quarter.
The Blue Jays defense held the Storm offense in check on their next two possessions. The Blue Jays would get the ball on their 28-yard line after a return by freshman Logen Walker (Mountain Home, AR / Mountain Home). After a Ben Wallace (Chicago, Il. / Thornton Fractional South) four-yard gain on first down Blue Jay senior quarterback Wyatt Ellis (Owensville, MO / Owensville) would hook up with wide receiver Peyton James (Springfield, Mo. / Springfield Catholic) for a 47-yard pass down to the Crown one-yard line. Dobbins would take care of the rest as he would plunge into the end zone for his second score and put the Jays up 14-0.
With nine minutes left in the first half the Storm was lined up to punt from their 44-yard line. They muffed the punt and the Blue Jays would recover on the Storm 19. Ellis would take it 19 yards for his fifth rushing touchdown of the season to make it 21-0 Blue Jays as the two teams headed into halftime with that same score.
The Blue Jays would take the second half kickoff and return it to near midfield. Four Dobbins rushes for a total of 38 yards made it fist and ten from the Crown 14-yard line. The next handoff would go to Ben Wallace for a 14-yard touchdown run, the first of his career, that put the Jays up 27-0 after the extra point attempt failed.
Over the next several possessions, the storms offense would get on track throwing a 50-yard TD pass and a 14-yard TD pass to cut the Blue Jay lead to 27-14 with 2:48 to play in the third quarter. On the Blue Jays next possession, a fumble was returned 67 yards by Crown for a touchdown that all of a sudden cut the lead to just six points 27-21 just before the end of the third quarter and we had a ball game.
Thanks to a fourth down stand later the Blue Jays would take over on downs already in Storm territory at the 41-yard line. That drive resulted in a three-yard Dobbins touchdown run, his third of the day, on the fifth play of the drive. The PAT was no good again and the Blue Jays lead stood at 33-21 with 8:55 left in the game.
Another stop on fourth down gave the ball back to the Blue Jays in Crown territory for the second drive in a row. Three Dobbins rushes were all the Blue Jays needed to cover the 42 yards for the score. The last of which was a 28-yard touchdown run that gave him a record tying four TD's. Wyatt Ellis would run in the two-point conversion to make it 41-21. Crown would drive back at the Jays throwing a 26 yard touchdown pass that made the score 41-28 with 5:35 to play in the game.
The Blue Jays would recover a Storm onside kick at the Crown 47. Dobbins would cap a 5 play 47 yard drive with a record breaking two yard touchdown run making it 47-28. Ellis would run in the two-point conversion to make it 49-28.
Crowns next possession ended when Blue Jay safety Deven Woodworth (Fort Gibson, OK / Fort Gibson) intercepted a pass and returned it 55 yards all the way down to the Crown 15-yard line. Freshman Dante Billups (Mexico, MO / Mexico) would take care of the rest scoring his first touchdown as a Blue Jay, a 12-yard TD run up the middle. The PAT was good to make it 56-28. Crown would add another touchdown on a 15-yard touchdown pass with :32 left in the game for the final score of Westminster 56 and Crown 35.
Ellis led the Blue Jay offense going five for nine for 93 yards in the air while running 8 times for 54 yards and a score. Dobbins Record setting night was 42 carries for 308 yards and five touchdowns. Wallace would add 49 yards on eight carries with a touchdown. Billups carried twice for 21 yards and a score. Peyton James (Springfield, Mo. / Springfield Catholic) would lead the receivers with two receptions for 57 yards.
The defense for Westminster was led by Logan Blickhan (Kirksville, MO / Kirksville) and Easton Hanks (Ozark, Mo. / Ozark) who each played great in the game recording a tackle for a loss by each of them. Woodworth returned his interception for 44 yards to set up a Blue Jay score.
The Blue Jays conclude their season 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the UMAC. The twelve Blue Jay seniors will be missed and we wish them the very best in their future.