Bulldogs lose to Friends in defensive slugfest, 14-7

By Steve Sell
October 22, 2017

WICHITA — McPherson College’s football team needs to avoid Sunday games altogether, even if it’s just half a game.

The Bulldogs returned to Wichita on Sunday afternoon to take on Friends after the teams played to a scoreless tie at halftime on Saturday when the game was halted due to weather conditions.

Friends broke a 7-all tie in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard pass from Kevin Folsom to Clayton Stuart for a 14-7 victory.

Mac, which also lost to Bethany on a Sunday, is now 2-4 in the KCAC and 3-4 overall. Just like last year, it is struggling in close games as two of the four losses are now by a touchdown apiece.

The Bulldogs’ lone score came early in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard pass from Ed Crouch to Jackson Goodmiller, who has three TD catches in the last two games.

But it was a tough two days for the Mac offense, which had been the KCAC’s highest-scoring team going into the game at 38 points.

“Friends is really talented on the outside at cornerback, which made us work toward the middle of the field and we weren't able to do that today," Mac coach Paul Mierkewicz said. "It looked like we were getting a good amount of pressure, but it also felt like we had some time to do some things. We just weren't hitting on all cylinders today. Our defense played well, but we just put them in too many bad situations. They made plays when they could and got some turnovers, we just couldn't pull anything together offensively. We have a short week and we need to get healthy as some guys were banged up early, especially defensively. There is a lot of work to do to prepare for Saint Mary."

The Bulldogs were held to 256 total yards after entering the day averaging 399. Crouch threw for 153 yards, but was just 14 of 32. Tyrone Campbell was held to 54 yards on 18 carries and Crouch was limited to 33.

Goodmiller did grab seven balls for 92 yards.

Friends pierced the Mac secondary with 26 of 36 for 300 yards and two scores. Folsom was 17 of 27 for 205 yards, while Dan Dawdy was a perfect 9 of 9 for 95 yards. Friends had 144 yards on the ground.

Isaiah Hill had a spectacular game on defense for the Bulldogs with 10 tackles, including 3 1/2 for a loss. Ashton Serpes had nine tackles.

Mac plays its final road game of the year on Saturday at Saint Mary in Leavenworth.

In the other game on Sunday, Tabor outscored Kansas Wesleyan 41-20 in battle of KCAC tri-leaders. The Bluejays and Sterling are now tied for the KCAC lead at 5-1, while Kansas Wesleyan and Bethany are 4-2 and meet on Saturday in Lindsborg.

Sterling holds the tiebreaker over Tabor as it won the head-to-head meeting.