Hillsboro product Brown scores lone Tabor touchdown
The annual homecoming is usually a time for celebration for the home football team.
Unfortunately, the winless Tabor College Bluejays couldn’t have had a much tougher draw than having to tackle the KCAC’s best, and nationally-ranked Friends Falcons.
A team looking for its first KCAC win since Nov. 11 of the 2006 season, the search continues for Tabor as Friends (4-0, 3-0) raced to a 42-0 lead by halftime, eventually crushing the Bluejays (0-4, 0-3 KCAC), 58-6.
The Bluejays are struggling in every phase of the game, and going against a team like the Falcons, who have the sixth-best defense in the NAIA, Friends was hardly the team Tabor needed to get the kinks out the hose.
The Falcons have the eighth best running game in the nation, and on Saturday, 12 different backs helped punish Tabor for 280 yards rushing and a total of 491 yards.
The game started with Friends going up 7-0 three minutes into the game on a four-yard touchdown run by Frank Miles.
Tabor went virtually nowhere the entire game — its longest drive of the first half was 16 yards — finishing with 112 total yards.
The Bluejays simply ran smack-dab into a brick wall of a Falcon defense, averaging a mere footstep of 1.9 yards a play from scrimmage.
The KCAC’s second-leading rusher, Demetrius Cox, was held to negative two yards — 83 yards under his average — by the NAIA’s fourth-best defense against the run.
Friends can strike quickly, too, taking a 14-0 lead in two plays with Alex Melugin hitting Abe Kersting for a 73-yard touchdown with 1:18 left in the first quarter.
Melugin wreaked havoc on the overmatched Bluejay defense, completing 18-27 passes for 211 yards and four scores.
Less than three minutes later, the Bluejays were sitting ducks, trailing 29-0 after Brent Craddock punched it in from the three.
If things weren’t already going bad enough with Tabor trailing 42-0 to start the second half after a 28-point explosion in the second quarter, the sorrows continued with the Bluejays giving Friends wonderful field position with a fumble at their own 26.
Six plays later, Melugin found Christian Trotter from seven yards out to go up 49-0.
Tabor stayed right there at its own 26 to start the next drive, but ended up driving backward the entire series, giving up a safety.
The Bluejays finally were able to sustain a drive longer than 16 yards in the waning minutes of the third quarter — driving 80 yards in eight plays with Marc Amos going deep for Spencer Brown on a 36-yard touchdown with 1:03 still left.
Tabor even struggled trying to get a two-point conversion against many of the Friends’ reserves with Amos unable to connect with Marquis Smith as the score stayed 58-6.
Brown was perhaps the biggest bright spot for Tabor’s woeful outing, finishing with a team-high 41 yards.
Tabor should get a more manageable opponent Saturday, traveling to Lindsborg to play Bethany College for a 1:30 p.m. kicko