• Last modified 3457 days ago (Nov. 4, 2009)


TABOR: Bulldogs too strong for Tabor

Bluejays’ home schedule ends on 43-10 loss to McPherson

Sports writer

Joel Wiens made a hearty contribution to help create new facilities as well as a stadium for the Bluejays.

However, Tabor will have to wait until 2010 to try and get its first win at Wiens Stadium.

The 16th-ranked McPherson Bulldogs kept Tabor winless both at Wiens Stadium and for the year Saturday afternoon, using three unanswered touchdowns to top the Bluejays, 43-10.

The loss drops Tabor to 0-7 in the KCAC and 0-8 on the year while the Bulldogs remain in a two-way tie for second with Friends at 6-1 in league play and 7-1 overall.

Facing a team with a high-powered offense — 10th in the NAIA and fifth in scoring —Tabor had to play one its best games of the year, avoid an offensive fury, and keep the game manageable.

The Bluejays stayed within striking distance, but only in the first half.

Beyond grabbing an early 3-0 lead after a Stephen Gulledge field goal, holding McPherson five points under its average, and turning the ball over only twice, Tabor’s story remained the same.

McPherson’s Shane Mascarenas left little doubt why he’s one of the NAIA’s top quarterbacks, feasting on Tabor’s struggling secondary.

Mascarenas was 19-for-31, throwing for 399 yards and five touchdowns — 100 yards more than his sixth-best, 299-yard per-game average.

The Bulldogs used big plays and long drives, going 6-of-8 on third downs and never punting.

Of McPherson’s nine drives, six of them ended in touchdowns.

The Bluejays had the ball nearly 10 minutes longer than the Bulldogs, but third downs again rendered them little leverage, going only four of 17.

McPherson’s defense was in Tabor’s backfield the entire game, sacking Marc Amos five times and yielding a modest 199 total yards.

Tabor stopped McPherson on its first drive as it stalled at the Bluejay 37.

Out of the Bluejays’ 10 drives, four went for more than 30 yards, with three going backward.

Of 69 offensive plays, not one of Tabor’s was longer than 31 yards with Zeb Petty supplying that.

The Bluejays took advantage of decent field position, taking over at their own 37.

Amos was 3-for-4 on the drive, hitting Robert LeBeauf and Spencer Brown for 11- and 15-yard gains.

Brown finished with six catches for a team-career-high 79 yards.

Tabor only managed to get to the Bulldog 33, settling for a 50-yard field goal from Gulledge at the 3:20 mark of the third quarter.

But the Bluejay defense was picked apart by the Bulldogs’ two-headed monster receiving corps of Andy Skinner and Steven Harrison.

The two combined for 310 yards, 14 catches, and five of McPherson’s six touchdowns.

Tabor’s lead only held up for a 1:10 with Mascarenas going deep for Skinner on a 53-yard touchdown.

The Bulldogs pulled in front 7-3, and the Bluejays would watch the lead stretch to 21-3 until there was less than 10 seconds left in the first half.

Amos orchestrated a 10-play, 67-yard drive — Tabor’s longest — starting at the Bluejay 33.

McPherson held Tabor to just 81 yards rushing from 42 carries, but Derek Washington ripped off a 22-yard gain to pull the Bluejays to the Bulldog 25.

Amos fired to Brown for another 15-yard gain, but Tabor was left looking at a fourth-and-goal from the 3.

McPherson blew up the field-goal attempt though, and Gulledge managed to cut the lead to 21-10 by halftime with a 3-yard score.

Tabor never threatened the second half despite getting three Bulldog turnovers to work with.

The Bluejays get perhaps their best chance at a victory Saturday, traveling to Winfield to meet the Southwestern Moundbuilders at 1:30 p.m.

The ’Builders are hot off a huge win, holding off Bethel, 21-20, to stay two games up in 10th place.

Last modified Nov. 4, 2009