Bulldogs host No. 11 Tabor Saturday

By Steve Sell
October 29, 2015

McPherson College’s football team is 0-7 and has yet to score an offensive touchdown in the month of October.

And now coming to town on Saturday is KCAC leader and No. 11-ranked Tabor College, which was upset last year by the Bulldogs, something that probably hasn’t escaped the Bluejays as they prepare this week.

Kickoff for this first-vs.-worst game is 1 p.m. at McPherson Stadium.

Tabor, 6-0 in the KCAC and 7-1 overall, certainly has the schedule to finish out a perfect conference season. After playing the winless Bulldogs, they finish at home against 1-7 Bethany and 3-4 Bethel.

“I don’t think we haven’t had a week where we haven’t had a reason to get excited about playing,” Mac coach Paul Mierkiewicz said. “Our guys have approached it really well. It’s a tough challenge. One, it has to do with their talent level. The other is what they run offensively and defensively.”

The Bulldogs, who perhaps have the lightest defense in the country as there’s simply little bulk due to injuries and attrition, have been unable to stop pounding running teams, which Tabor does best. Mierkiewicz admits if the Bluejays get it rolling early and the Bulldogs’ offense doesn’t put together some decent drives to give the defense some rest, it could be a long day.

Last year, Mac turned in an incredible defensive performance to spring one of the major upsets in the KCAC, 15-14.

“It really comes down to being able to handle things physically,” Mierkiewicz said. “Last year’s team was a very good tackling defense. They were really on top of things and took away some things.”

The Bulldogs’ offense has struggled mightily as the line is the KCAC’s youngest and it’s not even close. The backfield also has been full of freshmen, including quarterback Chris Linnin, and running backs Jackson Goodmiller and Ryan Lakso.

The defense has played well at times, led by Dalton Whitfield, Braden Bush, Michael Rabara, Greg Elvin and Kavoderic McIntyre, but it has spent far too much time on the field and generally wears down in the second half.

Mac hosts Sterling next Saturday before wrapping up the season at Bethany College.