WU football falls to UCO on Senior Day

Trevor Beurman

The Ichabods set out to finish their final game of the season on a strong note for Senior Day. Seniors assembled across the blue “W” in the turf as a group of motorcycles encircled the field, game day was ready to take off at Yager Stadium.

With the visiting Bronchos looking to disrupt the Ichabods’ honorary Senior Day, Washburn prepared to hold their 6-3 record and add another win to improve the Ichabods’ stance on a bowl game appearance.

The Ichabods started out strong on the defensive end for the start of the game, recording its first turnover in mere minutes. With great field position from a recovered fumble by Rashade Chester, the Ichabods would get all the way down to the red zone before kicking in a three point score.

With a quick score on the board, one can only think about the beginning of the season. Washburn had a glaring problem with coming strong out the gates for the start of the game earlier in the season on the offensive side, that is, until Blake Peterson took over.

In fact, Blake Peterson has made a significant case for himself as a permanent starter at the helm for the Ichabods with the probability that he sees a significant uptick in play next season. This was only cemented even more by his huge 52 yard gain on the ground around the 5:19 mark.

The only negative during this drive would be a fumble by wide receiver Will Hamilton, who would give up the ball back to the Bronchos to keep the score settled at 3-0 with the Ichabods out front near the end of the first quarter.

The Bronchos would capitalize on the fumble and then stroll all the way down the field for a touchdown to end the first breaking their empty side of the scoreboard.

The first half would be a turnover laden mess, featuring multiple fumbles by both teams. By halftime, the fumble count was at five, all fumbles being lost to the opposing team.

The Ichabods would not help their case, however, with only three first downs by halftime with major struggles being attributed to lack of player involvement and stifling defense from the University of Central Oklahoma.

An example of these offensive mistakes and frequent turnovers would be from Blake Peterson, who looked to throw at the start of the second quarter, but would be hit in the arm to force another turnover and another fumble.

Another sign of the slow offense in the back end of the first half would be Mickeel Stewart, a senior who only had two touches by the 11:36 mark of the second quarter with only three yards gained.

“I think as a team we all feel like we could have done a lot more,” Stewart said.

Other seniors like wide receiver Carey Woods would also have limited touches and limited production. Almost identical to Stewart, Woods would have one rushing carry for only three yards gained near the same 11:36 mark.

Woods had his thoughts on the current look of the Ichabods with bowl eligibility after the game.

“It’s going to be a little tougher to get that bid,” Woods said, “But if we take care of business next week we should get that bid for a bowl game.”

While the Washburn offense continued to struggle, the Bronchos offense did quite the opposite. Bronchos quarterback Chas Stallard would continue to add on to his impressive game that saw 185 passing yards at halftime versus Peterson’s 77 yards.

The first half, while painful as it was, would gladly end with Washburn only being down by ten with a 3-13 score favoring the Bronchos.

That would not last long, as Washburn would turn the ball over once again with an intercepted pass intended for James Brania-Hopp where UCO quarterback Stallard would lead his team to another touchdown for a 3-20 score.

The second half would remain much of the same, with Washburn struggling to put points on the board and UCO capitalizing on the Ichabod offense’s inefficiency to put an effort into the end zone when it mattered.

Senior Day would end with a very disheartening Ichabod loss which now makes Washburn’s bowl eligible status murkier and murkier. The final score would see the Bronchos out on top by a margin of seventeen points by a score of 10-27.

Up next for the Ichabods is their potential final game of the season as they travel to Emporia, Kansas to take on Emporia State University at Welch Stadium. The Hornets have a 5-5 record on the season and ready for the Ichabods to come to town at 2 p.m. Nov. 11.