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TABOR FOOTBALL

63-34 loss leaves Tabor in two-way tie for sixth

Sports writer

When facing the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes, it’s never a bad idea to try and stop tailback Preston McCorkle.

McCorkle leads the KCAC in rushing, averaging 134 yards per game.

In the season finale Saturday afternoon in Hillsboro, the Tabor College Bluejays held McCorkle five yards below his average and only allowed one touchdown.

It was quarterback Drew Dallas accounting for 291 total and seven of the Coyotes’ (6-4, 5-4 KCAC) nine touchdowns in a 63-34 victory.

The loss snapped the Bluejays’ two-game winning streak, but Tabor ends the season at 2-8 on the year and in a two-way tie for sixth place in the KCAC at 2-7 with Bethany.

For nearly 28 minutes of the first half, the Bluejays stayed hot on the Coyotes’ trail.

The Coyotes had their share of problems with turnovers with three and penalties — 10 for 104 yards — but the Bluejays gave KW a big lift and the lead for good.

After holding the Coyotes to a three-and-out on the opening drive, J.J. Bean lost the football on the punt return, giving the Coyotes the ball at the Tabor 37.

Two plays later, Dallas fired to Jason Dolan for a 34-yard touchdown with 12:15 left in the first quarter to make it a 7-0 game.

Tabor’s running back duo of Derek Washington and Demetrius Cox tried to keep the game close.

The pair combined to hit Wesleyan for 208 yards — Cox going for a team-high 117 yards — as Tabor racked up 257 yards rushing on 44 carries.

Wesleyan spotted Tabor the game-tying touchdown with Teal Stutzman stripping McCorkle of the ball and Joseph Wuest pouncing on the loose pigskin.

Six plays later, Marc Amos capped a six-play, 20-yard drive, plunging in from the one before Marcus Manny knotted the game with 4:57 still left in the opening frame.

Amos proved to be the most productive Bluejay on the day, furnishing Tabor 207 total yards while rushing for three touchdowns.

Tabor was never able to establish an effective passing game with Amos going 9-24 as the Bluejays finished with 389 yards on the day.

Dallas engineered back-to-back scoring drives of 24- and 31-yards to put Tabor in a 21-7 hole with 8:11 to go in the first half.

The Bluejays pulled to within seven on the ensuing drive with Cox asserting himself on a 14-yard run and hauling in a 17-yard catch to get Tabor to the Coyote 28-yard line.

Washington ripped off a 12-yard run and Amos hit Phillip Robben for 14 yards to give Tabor a first-and-goal at the two.

Washington capped the Bluejays’ longest drive of the game — 75 yards — with a two-yard run to pull Tabor to 21-14 with 2:47 still left in the first half.

The game started fishtailing on the Bluejays right after that with the Coyotes covering 60 yards in three plays to stretch Tabor’s deficit back to two touchdowns by halftime.

Defense has been the Bluejays’ Achilles’ heel all year, and just after the first half, it had given up 246 total yards while the offense only mustered 114.

Tabor allowed as balanced a game as any to KW, giving up 230 yards rushing and 235 yards passing.

The Bluejays steered straight for the ditch to start the second half with KW pushing the lead to 35-14 after Dallas scored on a one-yard run.

Tabor’s deficit would inflate to 49-14 by the end of the third quarter helped by a blocked punt, which set up McCorkle’s only touchdown, and Amos throwing an interception.

The interception allowed Dallas to find Dolan again for a 34-yard touchdown with 39 seconds left in the third quarter, breaking the game open.

Marcus Lowe did more damage than Dolan, hauling in a 17-yard catch from Dallas to make it a 56-14 game, 3:30 into the fourth quarter.

The biggest highlight for the Bluejays came on the next drive, but it was too little, too late.

Facing a second-and-long at his own 11, Cox closed out his career taking a draw 89 yards for the score.

Tabor tried for two, but Amos couldn’t connect with Robben, leaving the score 56-20 with 10:34 left.

Amos added his second rushing touchdown of the day, scoring on first-and-10, with a 14-yard run with just less than 3:30 to go.

The Coyotes had their reserves in by then, and KW closed out its scoring with Johnny Park finding Justin Sutton for a 22-yard touchdown at the 1:09 mark.

Amos put the finishing touches on the Bluejays’ season, scoring on first-and-goal with a 10-yard run.

This time, Amos was able to find Adrian Clay on the two-point conversion to make for the final score.

Last modified Nov. 19, 2008

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