WU drops first loss of season to Bearcats

Going Deep Senior quarterback Dane Simoneau unleashes a pass during a recent home game. Washburn went on the road last weekend falling in defeat to Northwest Missouri State University 52-28.

It’s been said that all good things must come to an end.Unfortunately, the Washburn Ichabods were witness to that this past Saturday when they dished their first loss of the season against the Northwest Missouri Bearcats, 52-28.

“Northwest played very well,” said Washburn head coach, Craig Schurig.  “They executed really well on offense.  We made some mistakes and we didn’t play our best.  That’s a game where we needed to play a lot better.  I think we’ll learn from it and use it as something to make us better, I hope.”

Northwest’s offense ignited their fire early. Bearcats senior quarterback Blake Christopher made a 41-yard connection to junior wide receiver Tyler Shaw for a touchdown on the first drive of the game.  After a big third down stop on Washburn senior running back Justin Cooper the Ichabods were forced to punt.

The Bearcats tacked onto their lead after a 71-yard touchdown by NWMSU senior wide receiver Jake Soy, making the score 14-0.  Midway through the first quarter, the WU offense came to life with a 17-yard touchdown run by Washburn senior running back, Justin Cooper.  The next drive the Bearcats offence attack was refused by the Washburn defense, causing them to call out their punting unit for the first time in the game.

The Ichabods built on their momentum from their previous play by Washburn senior quarterback Dane Simoneau hooking up with sophomore wide receiver DaJuan Beard for a 40-yard TD reception, tying the score 14-14. Simoneau, with another great performance, was 25 of 34 with one interception for 372 yards and three touchdowns. Christopher gave the Bearcats their third score with a 3-yard rushing TD, ending the first quarter. 

The second quarter began with yet another TD reception by Beard for 6 yards, tying up the score for the second time in a row, 21-21.  In pursuit of the end zone, the Bearcats advanced to the WU 21-yard line only to have their effort fail with a fumble after a 5-yard reception by Bearcat junior running back Jordan Simmons, recovered by Washburn freshman free safety Calvin Kenney.

The Ichabod offense would make great strides going 58 yards into Bearcat territory until a Simoneau interception by NWMSU sophomore cornerback Travis Manning. He returned it 38 yards to the WU 33-yard line. The Bearcats would capitalize off the Washburn turnover with a 3-yard TD reception by senior wide receiver Jake Soy. The Ichabod’s next drive after two first downs ended in a sack for negative three yards by NWMSU junior defensive end Matt Meinart.  In response, the Bearcats marched down to the WU 5-yard line, but settled for a field goal by junior kicker Todd Adolf furthering their lead to 31-21 before the half. 

In the first drive of the second half, the Ichabods’ first drive resulted in another sack by NWMSU senior lineman Aaron Terry and sophomore defensive end Ricky Bailey.  After a silent beginning to the third, the Bearcats were the first to break through with a 1 yard rushing touchdown by NWMSU sophomore running back James Franklin. The Ichabods would respond with a touchdown of their own on an 11-yard reception by Beard, his third of the night. Beard had seven catches for 122 catches with three TD’s on the game. 

“I just felt like we needed to make a play,” said Beard.  “I needed to step up to make a play to help our team and get us going.”

The Bearcats extended their lead early in the fourth on a 3-yard rush for a touchdown by Franklin, putting the Ichabods in a 17 point deficit.  Washburn tried to build some type of offensive rhythm late, but failed after a sack for negative 7 yards by NWMSU senior defensive tackle, Josh Lorenson. The Bearcats furthered their lead with their last touchdown of the night by Franklin making the final score, 52-28.  Saturday’s game would be the fourth game for Washburn being completely shut out in the fourth quarter.  The Ichabods earned a total of 442 yards of offense with nine penalties for 75 yards and 18 first downs versus NWMSU’s 28 first downs. 

Washburn’s next game will be at Yager Stadium against Fort Hays State homecoming weekend on Oct. 29, at 1 pm.