FULTON, Mo. – In their final home game of the season, the Westminster football team defeated Crown College 24-7. The Blue Jays are now 4-5 overall and 4-3 in UMAC play.
After a scoreless first quarter, Westminster took a 3-0 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Brad Hammel. On their next possession, the Storm used their passing attack to drive down the field into the red zone. The Westminster defense held Crown in check and forced a field goal attempt from the 20-yard line. The Storm called a fake but senior safety Jordan Shockley was not fooled and tackled the holder for a big loss and a turnover on downs. The Westminster offense could not capitalize off this turnover and ran out the clock following a series of penalties and incomplete passes. The Blue Jays went into halftime leading 3-0.
On their first drive of the third quarter Westminster picked up a first down on a 14-yard pass from Wyatt Ellis to Jamal Martin but ultimately were forced to punt the ball back to the Storm. The Storm then picked up two first downs to move the ball into Westminster territory. After two four-yard plays by Crown, Clayton Bristol and Ben Heimann stuffed the Storm running back on third-and-two to bring up fourth down. Crown went for it rather than opting to punt and their pass fell into complete.
The Blue Jays quickly moved the ball down the field with Ellis completing a 19-yard pass to Kalyn Davis. Ellis also completed passes to Brandon Carbray (five yards) and Alec Fleetwood (eight yards) before Cornell Young made a juggling catch to give Westminster a first and goal at the one-yard line. Davis took the snap in a wildcat formation and ran into the endzone to put Westminster up 10-0.
Westminster scored again in the fourth quarter on a five-play, 54-yard drive to increase their lead to 17-0. Taylor Dobbins scored the Blue Jay touchdown on a three-yard rush and had three carries for 22 yards on the scoring drive. Ellis completed passes to Travion Mosby for 26 yards and 18 yards on the drive. The next drive for Crowd De'Monn Martin intercepted the Storm quarterback for his third interception of the season.
The Storm got on to the scoreboard with a short pass that was set up by a long punt return that gave them the ball at the Westminster eight-yard line. Crown made the extra point to cut the lead to 17-7. On the ensuing kickoff, Westminster sent out their hands team anticipating an onside kick. The kicker for the Storm booted the ball deep in hopes his team could chase it down against Jamal Martin, the one return man the Blue Jays had back deep. However, Martin showed good awareness and let the ball go out of bounds for a Crown penalty. The Storm also committed a personal foul on the play and the Blue Jays took over at midfield.
Davis ran the ball four straight plays totaling 27 yards before Ellis broke off a 21-yard run to give the Blue Jays a first and goal. After a rush for a touchdown by Ellis was called back due to holding, Davis broke off a 12-yard run to bring Westminster to the one-yard line. On fourth and goal Ellis found Mosby in the corner of the end zone to put the Blue Jays up 24-7. The touchdown was the 10th time this season the duo connected for a score.
The Storm advanced the ball down to the one-yard line, thanks in part to multiple Westminster penalties. On first and goal following a pass interference penalty on Westminster, Bristol and Ben Holt stuffed a sneak attempt by the Crown quarterback. On the next play, Michael Trotter stopped the Storm ball carrier for a three-yard loss and on third down Easton Hanks broke up a pass. On fourth and goal with just under two minutes left Shockley broke up a pass to force another turnover on downs and Westminster ran out the clock to win 24-7.
Shockley finished the game tied for the team lead in tackles with seven and also broke up two passes and had two tackles for loss. Beau Thompson also recorded seven tackles for Westminster. Mosby caught five passes for 60 yards and added an interception on defense.
Davis finished the game with 143 yards rushing on 22 rushes. Dobbins ran 14 times for 85 yards and caught a 13-yard pass. Ellis finished the game with 181 yards passing and a touchdown.
The Blue Jays play again their final game of the season next Saturday at Northwestern (Minnesota).