Punchless Bulldogs fall again

By Steve Sell
October 25, 2015

LEAVENWORTH — Once again, some good individual performances did not translate into team success for McPherson College’s football Bulldogs.

Despite some noteworthy games by Jackson Goodmiller, Michael Rabara and Greg Elvin, the Bulldogs again were blown out on Saturday, 41-3 by Saint Mary.

Goodmiller, a fourth-string receiver who was moved to running back out of necessity as only three players carried the ball on this day, ran for 80 yards on 16 carries. Rabara and Elvin were all over the field defensively with 14 and 12 tackles, respectively.

Meanwhile, Mac’s Chris Linnin crushed four punts, ending the day with a phenomenal 51.8 average.

“They (the bright spots) were a little too few and far between,” said Mac coach Paul Mierkiewicz, whose team fell to 0-6 in the KCAC and 0-7 overall with nationally ranked Tabor coming to McPherson Stadium on Saturday.

The day started on the wrong foot when the Bulldogs fumbled the opening kickoff as two players ran together trying to make a fair catch of a pop-up kick. Instead of Mac having the ball with great field position, the Spires took over and raced down the field to score in just over a minute. 

Mac trailed 20-3 at the half, giving up a score with 56 seconds left that broke open a relatively competitive game.

But in the end, the Bulldogs’ total lack of offense contributed greatly to the loss as the defense, which has precious little depth, was exhausted by halftime against the Spires’ no-huddle offense. 

The Bulldogs have not scored an offensive touchdown since Week 3 of the season. In the last four games, Mac has scored a defensive touchdown, was blanked and then held to a single field goal each of the last two weeks.

Jake Weigel’s 36-yard field goal, which cleared the bar by a scintilla, accounted for the only Mac points for the second straight week.

Braden Bush and Brett Sykes were other Mac defenders who had good days with nine tackles apiece. However, Saint Mary ran 81 plays for 499 yards, with freshman quarterback Drew Cortez as good as advertised by completing 29 of 39 for 299 yards and two scores, while running for another. The Spires’ defense contributed a pick-six in the second half.

In addition to Goodmiller’s 80 yards, teammate Ryan Lakso ran for 51 yards on 14 carries. Ironically, the two teams entered the day as the KCAC’s two-worst running teams, but the Spires had 189 yards on the ground and Mac had 141.