Saturday night the Washburn football team was put in an unfamiliar situation: they trailed in a game. For the first time in the 240 minutes they’ve played this season they were behind. To make matters worse, they were losing on their home turf to a team that came in 0-3. With eight minutes left in the first quarter Central Oklahoma took a 7-0 lead.
This game was a true test of the Ichabods’ resiliency. After four players got hurt in their win over Northeastern State last week, they came into this game shorthanded. Starting running back, sophomore Sean McPherson, all-American wide out, junior DaJuan Beard are both expected to miss the next three games also with a knee sprain and torn thumb ligament respectively. Sophomore running back Donnie Lockhart is going to be out the rest of the season after tearing his ACL.
With McPherson and Lockhart both out, it was up to junior Vershon Moore and sophomore Kameron Stewart to carry the load on the ground. While they certainly got plenty of opportunities with 30 total carries, they could only muster 62 yards for just over two yards per touch. However, Moore was able to punch it into the end zone for scores of one and five yards.
Moore added one more touchdown through the air as he hauled in four catches for 92 yards. The last two games have seen the Bods offense move the ball down the field methodically with a balanced attack. This week, the offense was unable to move the ball consistently. After their first 4:33 scoring drive, they were unable to put together one that was longer than a 1:16.
On the bright side, the Ichabods were able to come up with big plays when they needed them. An 80 yard pass from junior quarterback Mitch Buehler to fellow junior, receiver Tyrell Brown and Moore’s 40 yard reception on a screen pass got the Bods the lead and helped them keep it.
Buehler ended the day 17 of 29 for 349 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. While the big plays played a major factor in the 349 yards, this was a fairly impressive bounce back game from last week’s performance.
The Bronchos entered the game with the MIAA’s leading rusher, senior Josh Birmingham, and the second leading receiver, junior Marquez Clark. While the Washburn defense was able to keep Birmingham in check for the most part, holding him to just 69 yards, Clark had a very productive day. He caught seven balls for 125 yards and a score, showing off his famous 4.38 speed.
When the final whistle blew, the 28-19 score was much closer than anticipated. However, the resilient Ichabods pulled it out in the second half. Next Saturday the Ichabods travel to Bolivar, Missouri to take on Southwest Baptist University at 2:00 p.m.