The Westminster football team scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to propel them to a 28-14 victory over the University of Minnesota-Morris. The win improves the Westminster Blue Jays’ conference record to 3-1 and an overall record of 3-2.
The Blue Jays won the coin toss and deferred. With a sack for a loss of 9 yards by sophomore Odunayo Oyesanya on the Minnesota-Morris Cougars’ opening drive, the Cougars were forced to punt. After three quick drives, the ball was put back in the Cougar’s hands at their own 37-yard line. After eight plays, the Cougars were able to get a 22-yard touchdown pass in, but their point after kick attempt was blocked by the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays started their next drive on their own 32-yard line, but as time ran out in the first quarter, the Blue Jays were on the Cougar’s 34-yard line with 2nd and 6. A 23-yard pass from senior quarterback Joe Plassmeyer to junior Austin Kempker put the Blue Jays on the Cougar’s 11-yard line, and three rushes by junior Jantzen Bradford put the Blue Jays on the 2-yard line. Two one-yard rushes by Bradford tied the Blue Jays up, and junior Kevin Ludwig’s PAT was good, giving the Blue Jays the 7-6 lead.
Sophomore Brett Simon intercepted the Cougar’s pass to halt their next drive. A 24-yard pass from Plassmeyer to freshman Latif Adams put the Blue Jays into Cougar territory, but Plassmeyer’s pass was intercepted at the 23-yard line. In the final two drives of the half, neither team was able to score, leaving the Blue Jays with a 7-6 lead at half.
Westminster received in the second half, but they were unable to make it into Cougar territory before they had to punt. A forced fumble came from a sack by freshman Josh Brown, and the Blue Jays’ Christian Houston was able to recover. The Blue Jays put the ball into field goal range, but Ludwig missed the 24-yard field goal attempt. A flag was thrown on the play and a roughing the kicker penalty was called, giving the Blue Jays a second chance on the Cougar’s 4-yard line. A 4-yard pass was complete to sophomore Mike Washington to give the Blue Jays the 13-6 advantage, and the PAT by Ludwig was good. With 9:18 left in the third quarter, the Blue Jays held a 14-6 lead.
On the Blue Jays next drive, they were unable to convert to first down, forcing them to punt. The Cougar’s drive started on their own 7-yard line, but a sack by freshman Sean Freeman and sophomore Jacob Ellis pushed the Cougars back to the 5-yard line. The Cougars answered with a 95-yard touchdown pass to put in the record books. The 2-point conversion was good, knotting the game at 14-14.
Minnesota-Morris started the fourth quarter on their own 20-yard line, but sophomore Kyree Hart forced a fumble on the Cougar’s four-yard pass. He recovered the fumble and returned the ball 29-yards for a touchdown. Ludwig’s PAT was good, giving the Blue Jays the 21-14 lead with 14:13 left in the game.
After four quick plays, the Blue Jays started their next drive on their own 39-yard line. Adams started the drive with a 30-yard carry. A 5-yard pass to Bradford, followed by a combined 24 rushing yards by Adams put the Blue Jays just two yards shy of the endzone. A 2-yard pass from Plassmeyer to Adams gave the Blue Jays 6 more points, and Ludwig’s PAT put the Blue Jays up 28-14.
Two sacks by Westminster’s senior Chase Roberts and Brown tripped up the Cougars on their next drive. They Blue Jays took over on the Cougar’s 49-yard line, but with an intercepted pass, the Cougars took back over. With two personal fouls on the Blue Jays, the Cougars started their drive on the Westminster 26-yard line. A sack by Oyesanya for 6 yards put the Cougars at 3rd and 12 on the Westminster 15. Two incomplete passes had the Blue Jays taking over on their own 15-yard line with 4:06 left in the game.
A 41-yard pass to Kempker, along with a 16-yard carry put the Blue Jays on the Cougar’s 25-yard line. The Blue Jays closed out the game with two team rushes, ending with a 28-14 win.
Plassmeyer threw 221 yards on 20 completions. Kempker led the Blue Jays with 99 reception yards, averaging 24.8 yards per reception. Adams led the Blue Jays on the ground, totaling 98 yards.
Ludwig went 4-4 on extra points, punted 171 yards and averaged 42.4 yards per kickoff (5-212).
The Blue Jay defense was led by Freeman with 9 tackles. Brown and Oyesanya each recorded two sacks for 16 and 15 yards, respectively.
The Blue Jays return home to host Eureka College on October 11 at 1:00 p.m.