Quite simply, it was boys vs. men.
McPherson College’s painfully young football team sent out 11 freshmen starters against No. 22-ranked Doane College here Saturday night and the result, as you would imagine, was predictable.
Doane 54, McPherson College 7.
The Tigers are expected to contend for the GPAC championship and are flush with upperclassmen. Ten of the 11 starters on defense were seniors or juniors and they were matched against a Mac offensive line that started three freshmen and was missing its two best players due to injury and suspension. The Bulldogs were so overwhelmed that through three quarters they had only one first down and just nine yards of total offense.
However, behind the relentless effort of freshman running back Zach Boyd— who scored Mac’s only touchdown with a 49-yard blast up the middle in the fourth quarter — the Bulldogs eventually eclipsed the 100-yard mark with 115 on 48 plays. Boyd accounted for most of that with 98 yards on 21 carries.
The Bulldogs were able to get off only eight pass attempts against the swarming Tiger defense and Ste’fon Walker’s catch for 16 yards was the only completion.
But Mac coach Paul Mierkiewicz, in his Bulldog debut, saw something he really liked from his team.
“Our kids didn’t quit,” said Mierkiewicz, who knows he’s playing this year with a short deck and it’s all about building a base. “You can say a lot about what we did, some of it is about getting some of these guys coached up and getting things squared away... we’ve got a lot of fix. But if you’ve got guys who won’t quit and will continue to play, you can always coach those guys and that’s what we’re going to do.”
It was 34-0 at the half, but the Bulldogs’ defense actually acquitted themselves quite well during that time. Two touchdowns came on the return of blocked punts and the defense actually allowed only two TDs while spending most of the half on the field since Mac had just nine yards of offense.
Dalton Whitfield, named to the All-KCAC preseason team, began his candidacy with authority by coming up with 16 tackles as he was all over the field. Bradley Campbell and Joseph Mooney had 12 and 11, respectively. Kavoderic McIntyre and Michael Rabara came up with interceptions.
Mac will have a week off before starting KCAC play on Sept. 19 at Southwestern. The Builders are 0-2 on the season.
• STATS •
• Mac Listed First •
First Downs — 6, 32. Rushes-Yards — 40-99; 54-301. Passing — 1-8-0-16; 14-29-2-253. Punts-Avg. — 8-25.8; 2-23.0. Fumbles-Lost — 4-4; 2-1. Penalties-Yards — 2-14, 14-135.
• INDIVIDUAL LEADERS •
• Rushing •
Mac — Boyd 21-98.
Doane — Sonderup 11-108, Meier 12-69, Love 9-57, Mustafa 10-44.
• Passing •
Mac — Garza 1-4-0-16, Johnston 0-5-0-0.
Doane — Stuart 9-17-2-133, Shadley 5-11-0-130.
• Receiving •
Mac — Walker 1-16.
Doane — Cornelious 3-74, Marvin 3-47.