FULTON, Mo. – A late surge in the fourth quarter led St. Scholastica past the Westminster football team 28-27 on Saturday. The Saints scored the game-tying touchdown with just nine seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. St. Scholastica added the extra point to take a 28-27 lead and defeat the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays now drop to 1-3 on the season and 1-1 in UMAC play.
"The boys played very hard today," said Westminster Head Coach John Welty. "We're going to focus on doing the little things better. We all need to get a little bit better but we are close to having everything come together for the team."
Westminster kicked off to begin the game and on the first drive, an interception by Ben Heimann gave the Blue Jays the ball deep in enemy territory. Following the pick, Wyatt Ellis completed a 27-yard pass to Seth Cline to give the Blue Jays a first-and-goal. Ellis then connected with Travion Mosby in the back of the end zone for a Westminster touchdown. After the touchdown, the Blue Jays forced a three-and-out and threatened to score again before a pass from Ellis was intercepted at the goal line by the Saints.
The Saints tied the game at 7-7 with 5:21 remaining in the second quarter on a 12-play 93-yard touchdown drive. Jamal Martin returned the ensuing kickoff 26 yards to the Westminster 31 yard line. Ellis then hooked up with Martin on a 50-yard catch-and-run to bring the Blue Jays into the red zone. Following the big play, Ellis once again found Mosby in the end zone for a touchdown. The point-after was missed but Westminster held a 13-7 lead.
The Saints marched down the field and threatened to take the lead late in the second quarter. With a little over a minute left in the quarter De'Monn Martin picked off the St. Scholastica quarterback to give the Blue Jays possession with their back to their own end zone. The Blue Jays ran out the clock and went into the locker rooms leading 13-7.
The Blue Jays extended their lead to 20-7 in the third quarter when Ellis scrambled into the endzone for his third touchdown rush of the season. Ellis also had a 31 yard rush on the drive and completed a 19-yard pass to Cline that helped bring the Blue Jays into the red zone.
Following a three-and-out from the Saints, DeQuintin Smith broke off runs of 24 and 20 yards to move the ball into Saints' territory. After an offside penalty on the Saints and a six-yard run by Smith, Ellis and Mosby connected for their third touchdown of the game and the ensuing extra point gave the Blue Jays a 27-7 lead.
St. Scholastica added a touchdown and a two-point conversion late in the third quarter on a 10-play 33-yard drive to make the score 27-15. The Blue Jays could not convert on their next possession and were forced to punt after a holding penalty and a sack. The Saints drove 90 yards down the field and scored to bring the score to 27-21.
Westminster's offense could not get anything going and were again forced to punt. On the next drive for the Saints De'Monn Martin intercepted his second pass of the day to give the ball back to the Blue Jays with 6:10 left in the game. The Blue Jays picked up a first down after runs by Smith and Ellis but ultimately had to punt the ball back to the Saints with just over two minutes remaining. St. Scholastica drove down the field and scored the game-tying touchdown with nine seconds left on the clock. The Saints kicked the point after to go up 28-27. Westminster got the ball back after the kick return with just six seconds remaining and Ellis' Hail Mary was intercepted by a Saints defender.
Ellis finished the game with 242 yards passing and three touchdowns. Mosby caught four passes for 62 yards and three touchdowns. Jamal Martin (61 yards) and Alec Fleetwood (53 yards) also contributed to the Blue Jay passing attack with two receptions each. Smith totaled 93 yards on 16 rushes.
"Wyatt had a gutsy performance today. He faced a lot of pressure and a strong pass rush St. Scholastica but he hung in there. He's still improving and is just going to keep getting better." said Welty.
The Blue Jays play again on Saturday Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. at Greenville.