A strong start for the Westminster football team was halted after the first quarter in Saturday’s Homecoming game versus the Iowa Wesleyan Tigers. The Blue Jays are tied for 6th the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) after the 14-23 loss.
The Blue Jays received first and on the 13th play of the first drive, junior quarterback Joe Plassmeyer found senior Mac Findeiss for a 5-yard touchdown pass. Sophomore Kevin Ludwig‘s kick attempt was good, giving the Blue Jays the 7-0 lead. Iowa Wesleyan scored with 5:20 left in the first quarter, tying the game up. Sophomore Deron Wilbourn returned the kickoff 64 yards to start the Blue Jay’s drive on the Iowa Wesleyan’s 26-yard line. A 26-yard pass from Plassmeyer to sophomore Austin Kempker on the next play quickly took back the lead (PAT good).
Sophomore Bret Robertson intercepted the Tiger’s pass on the Tiger’s 33-yard line with 4:45 left in the quarter. The Blue Jays made it within four yards of the goal, but were unable to convert. An Iowa Wesleyan 70-yard rush got the Tigers to the Westminster 27-yard line, but two incomplete passes forced them to kick a field goal with 34 seconds left.
The Blue Jays headed into the second quarter with the 14-10 lead. Three incomplete passes left the Blue Jays 4th and 10 on the Iowa Wesleyan’s 22-yard line. Ludwig attempted a field goal, but it fell short. The Blue Jays were shut down on their next two drives, and an Iowa Wesleyan interception gave the Tigers 1st and 10 on their own 45-yard line. A series of rushes and passes led to the Tiger’s second touchdown of the day and their first lead of the game, 17-14.
Just 11 seconds into the second half, the Tigers scored a touchdown. The PAT was blocked by junior Dennis Dent, bringing the Tiger’s lead to 23-14. A Blue Jay fumble was recovered by the Tiger’s on the Westminster 5-yard line. Two plays later, junior Chase Roberts intercepted the Tiger’s pass, stopping the Tiger’s from scoring again.
A scoreless fourth quarter ended the game with a Blue Jay 14-23 loss.
The Blue Jays led in possession time and offensive yards, but had three passes intercepted and four sacks on them for 52 yards.
Plassmeyer completed 30 passes for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns. Senior Sam Lantz Jr. led the Blue Jays with 218 all-purpose yards (136 rushing yards, 71 receiving yards, 15 kick-return yards, -4 punt-return yards). Ludwig went 2-2 on extra points, had five punts for 197 yards and three kickoffs for 136 yards.
Senior Louvis Johnson led the Blue Jays defensively, totaling five solo tackles and two assisted. He had one break up and 3.5 tackles for a loss of 4 yards.
The Blue Jays head to St. Paul, Minnesota next Saturday to face Northwestern (Minn.). Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m. The game will be shown here.