Mules kick Ichabods in lethargic 28-14 loss

Kneed Washburn’s CB Cary Williams takes a knee after Saturday’s 28-14 loss against Central Missouri. Williams had the game’s first score on a 49-yard interception return six minutes into the game. He also contributed seven solo tackles on the afternoon.

Josh Rouse

As Washburn’s quarterback lay helpless on the 20-yard line, a silence spread throughout the stands of Yager Stadium on Saturday.

This sight seemed to be the theme of the day as the University of Central Missouri Mules leveled their opposition, dominating Washburn’s defense with a potent running game that produced four touchdowns and 201 yards against the ill-fated Ichabods.

On the other side of the ball, the fate was much the same as the WU offense struggled mightily to put up yardage against UCM, throwing four interceptions and having a much harder time running the ball than against Fort Hays State.

“Offensively, we’ve got to fight,” said senior Jordan Brill, the aforementioned quarterback. “We just don’t have no fight in us. In the first half we just thought we could come out here and things would happen. We’ve got to make them happen, and in order to do that we’ve all got to be physical, aggressive players. That’s the type of team we are and we have the potential to do that.”

Brill, who was injured while throwing an interception to Adrian Chapman, left early in the second quarter and didn’t make a return until the last play of the half: a kneel-down.

“I got dinged up,” said Brill. “I don’t know if I got a concussion or not. It was one of those deals where I was spinning, I was nauseated, and I took a good hit to the head.”

In the second half, Brill’s headaches were both figurative and literal. Despite throwing a touchdown to sophomore receiver Drameagon Powers, who managed to haul the ball in over the back of an oncoming defender, the good momentum was short lived. Brill went on to throw three interceptions, a far cry from his usual consistency.

“I got nauseated a lot,” said Brill. “I thought I was going to puke. I was out here trying to battle with my seniors. It’s a special team and I wanted things to go right for us, but I ended up hurting us.”

Despite an inability to stop the running game on defense, the secondary was able to take advantage of a few missteps by UCM quarterback Stinson Dean. Dean was held scoreless, throwing 15-25 for 173 yards and two interceptions, one of which turned into a 49-yard return by senior cornerback Cary Williams.

“We need to obviously be more consistent,” said Craig Schurig, head coach. “We have some big plays here or there, but not enough consistency. Defensively we were on the field way too long; offensively we just need to get things done.”

Another strong point of the defense was the linebacking crew, led by sophomore Zach Watkins. Watkins wrapped up 20 tackles on the day, dishing out hits left and right. While coach Schurig sees his tenacity as a plus, he also knows why his stats were so stacked: Glenn Milner.

Milner, the UCM running back, carried the ball 28 times for 119 yards and thee touchdowns.

“That’s way too many tackles,” said Schurig. “That means they were on the field too long. When you’re on the field a lot, the linebackers will get a lot of tackles. They were a good group for us, but they don’t need to be on the field that much.”

The Ichabods now hope to regroup for a road trip to St. Joseph, Mo., where they will face 3-1 Missouri Western State University, who defeated Pittsburgh State 39-32 during the weekend.