'Dogs to play final road game Saturday

By Steve Sell
October 27, 2017

McPherson College’s Bulldogs have one last chance to win a road football game this season when they travel for the final time on Saturday to Leavenworth to take on Saint Mary.

Kickoff is 1:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs and Spires are both 2-4 in the KCAC, so the winner will climb up a rung. Southwestern also is 2-4 after its upset of Bethany last week.

Ottawa and Friends are tied for fifth at 3-3, so the winner of Saturday’s Mac-Saint Mary game still has a shot to finish in upper division.

The Bulldogs are 3-4 overall as they are 3-0 at home and 0-4 on the road. In their last road game, they were outlasted 14-7 by Friends in a defensive battle and have lost their last two road games by a touchdown each.

When you talk Saint Mary, it starts and ends with quarterback Drew Cortez, the KCAC’s leading passer and it’s not even close. He is piercing opposing defenses for 313 yards a game, 53 more than his closest competitor Kelly Cordova of Kansas Wesleyan. But the Spires are the worst team in the KCAC in running the ball, averaging just 86 yards, less than half of the Bulldogs’ average of 177.

Coretz’s eyes have to be lighting up as he’ll be working against a Mac defense that has been carved up by quarterbacks. The Bulldogs are dead last in pass defense by giving up 261 yards a game, but they’re also first in run defense, stuffing opponents to just 95 yards a game and 2.4 per carry. One reason being the Mac front four of Isaiah Hill, Chandler Tisby, Charles Tisby and Joey Hale is incredibly physical, while linebacker Thomas Lanktree ranks fourth in the conference in tackles.

Mac is looking to get its offense back on track. It had entered last week’s game at Friends as the No. 1 point producer in the conference, but couldn’t get anything going in the running or passing game after averaging 38 points through six games.

After Saturday, the Bulldogs close the season with home games against KCAC co-leaders Tabor and Sterling, so this represents their best chance to earn that fourth win of the year. Mac was just 1-10 last year, so improvement is being made.