Comeback On Senior Day Falls Short

Photo by Caleb Maassen.
Photo by Caleb Maassen.

Fulton, MO, 11/6/21 – The Westminster College football team took the home field for the last time this season on Saturday.  They celebrated the careers of 12 seniors in a ceremony prior to kick off against the Martin Luther College Knights.  The Knights jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead.  The Blue Jays fought back but eventually lost the game 28-14.  Missed opportunities were the name of the game as the Blue Jays had many opportunities to score more points throughout the game.

The Knights took advantage of good field position to score touchdowns on three of their first four possessions to take a commanding 21-0 lead.  The Knights used the ground game on its first two touchdown drives and then took to the air for the third. 

It was the Blue Jays fifth possession of the game before they got going.  Senior quarterback Wyatt Ellis (Owensville, MO / Owensville) would lead his team on seven play 69-yard drive for their first touchdown of the game.  The big play of the drive was a 37-yard Ellis completion to wide receiver Trey King (Fort Worth, TX / Richland) down to the Martin Luther 12-yard line. Five of the plays would feature the legs of Ellis the last of them a six-yard touchdown run. The point after was good by senior placekicker Tim Branneky () cutting the Martin Luther lead to 21-7 with 8:16 left in the first half.

The Blue Jay defense started to steady themselves.  The next Martin Luther possession saw three consecutive tackles for loss by Cole Amelunke (Jackson, Mo. / Jackson) and two by Marcus Stevens (Camdenton, Mo. / Camdenton) forced a Martin Luther punt. The Blue Jays would then go on a drive that would cover 63 yards on nine plays.  Three Ellis pass completions to King for a total of 48 yards had the Blue Jays inside the ten-yard line. The Blue Jays would call timeout on 4th and one. They came out of the timeout determined to go for it on fourth down but Ellis QB sneak would be stopped short by the Knights defensive line and the Blue Jays would turn it over on downs.  A missed opportunity for the Blue Jays to cut into the lead.  The Knights would then cruise into halftime with the 21-7 lead.

The second half saw the two teams trade stops on the first four possessions. The Knights would see their second possession end in an interception by the Blue Jays Robert Anthony (Herrin, IL / Herrin) which gave the Blue Jays the ball at the Knights 32-yard line.  The Jays were unable to move the ball and turned it over on downs as another opportunity slipped through their fingers. 

Martin Luther's third possession of the half would see them extend their lead.  Running back Josh Kren would get around the left end and he would race 48 yards for a touchdown that would stretch the Knights lead 28-7 with 4:17 left to play in the third quarter.

The final score of the game would come from the Blue Jays on their last possession of the game.  A 13 play 93 yard drive that saw Ellis and fellow senior Taylor Dobbins (Laurie, Mo. / Versailles) carry the ball for 19 yard gains each.  Ellis would find freshman Logen Walker (Mountain Home, AR / Mountain Home) for a 15 yard completion and then on 4th and goal from the two yard line Ellis would run it in for his second touchdown of the game to make the score 28-14. 

Martin Luther would run out the clock on their next possession to take the 28-14 victory. The loss dropped the Blue Jays to 2-5 on the season and 1-4 in the UMAC.  The Knights improve to 4-4 overall and 3-1 in the UMAC.

Ellis finished the day 11-32 for 134 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.  He would carry the ball 22 times for 118 yards and two scores.  Dobbins would gain 62 yards on 16 carries.  King would lead the Blue Jays receiving corps with four catches for 85 yards.  The Knights gained 358 yards of total offense to the Blue Jays 316 yards.

The Blue Jays defense was led by Marcus Stevens (Camdenton, MO / Camdenton)) who recorded nine tackles with seven solo tackles and two assisted tackles.  He also recorded 2 sacks and 4 total tackles for loss of 20 yards.  Dawson Brandt (Eldon, Mo. / Eldon) also recorded nine tackles for the Blue Jays.  Anthony also had a good day for the Jays with four tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception that he returned eight yards.

The Blue Jays will play the final game of their season next Saturday when they travel to Crown College.  The game is set for a 12:00 p.m. Saturday kick-off.