Cortez fires Saint Mary past Bulldogs, 41-28

By Steve Sell
October 29, 2017
McPherson College Sports Information-file

LEAVENWORTH  — For the third straight year, the road has not be kind to the McPherson College Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs wrapped up the road portion of their football schedule on Saturday with a 41-28 loss to Saint Mary as Spires quarterback Drew Cortez riddled Mac’s defense for 455 yards and four scores.

The Bulldogs, who have not won on the road since 2014, are now 2-5 in the KCAC and 3-5 overall. They close out the year with home games against KCAC co-leaders Tabor and Sterling. Mac is 3-0 at McPherson Stadium this season.

The last road win came Oct. 25, 2014, when the Bulldogs upset Tabor 15-14 in Hillsboro. 

Mac started the game with a bang on a 95-yard kickoff return for a TD by Daniel Mendenhall and later led 14-7 on a 20-yard pass from Jake Tiernan to Eman McNeal.

But Cortez rifled three TD passes in a span of 7 minutes for a 27-14 Spire halftime lead and Mac never got any closer.

“I'm proud of our guys, but we can't keep falling behind,” Mac coach Paul Mierkiewicz said. “We started out with a great special teams play, but then followed it up with a couple of special teams errors that we haven't made all year, which made it very difficult for us. Same thing on both offense and defense. We'd do some good things on first and second down and then let it slip away on third down."

The Bulldogs entered the game as the worst team in the KCAC against the pass and Cortez took advantage. He was 45 of 61 as the Bulldog defense spent way too much time on the field as Saint Mary snapped it a whopping 97 times.

Armond McCray led Mac with 40 yards rushing on five carries and had a TD. Tyrone Campbell was held to 27 yards. Tiernan was 21 of 45 for 242 yards, including an 87-yarder to McNeal, who had 137 yards on a half-dozen catches and two scores.

Isaac Murphy had 9 tackles to lead the Bulldogs.