Sterling Pounds Bethel on Senior Day
Sterling, Kan. - On Senior Night in Sterling, Kansas, the Sterling College Warrior Football Team sent their ten senior members out with a bang. Sterling pounded the ground for over 400 yards rushing on their way to a 62-14 stomping of the Bethel College Threshers. With the win and the loss by Friends University earlier this afternoon, Sterling wrapped up sole possession of third place in the KCAC Final Standings.
Shawn McKnight had a 30 yard kick-off return to start the day for the Warriors. On their first play from scrimmage, SC uncharacteristically completed a 47 yard pass by senior Keoki Burbank to Matt James setting up first and goal for Sterling. On the next play, Jo Jo Curiel would score on an eight yard touchdown run to give Sterling an early 7-0 lead on a two play, 50 yard drive. Burbank would score a two possessions later, capping off a five play, 49 yard drive with a seven yard run. At the end of the first quarter, Sterling would have a 14-0 lead.
Bethel's only good looking drive in the game came at the end of the first quarter into the start of the second quarter. That 11 play, 75 yard drive would be finished with a Jason Vail touchdown pass to Matt Regier, cutting the lead to 14-7. On the Warriors' ensuing possession, Burbank's presence would be felt again as he would score on a 74 yard quarterback keeper. The long play put momentum in Sterling's favor, and the Warriors would capitalize in the second quarter. Jesse Bundrage would score a Warrior touchdown on an 85 yard rush. On a trick play, Curiel would complete a pass to James for a touchdown. Senior Joey Garcia would join in on the action, flying over both the SC offensive line and the Bethel defensive line for a touchdown on a play from the three yard line. Kerby Rice would round out the SC second quarter scoring when he returned an interception 45 yards for a Warrior touchdown. At the half, the game was out of reach with Sterling leading 49-7.
There would be no scoring in the third quarter as the teams would trade possessions. Garcia would start the fourth quarter for Sterling with a 54 yard touchdown run off of the option. Bethel would answer with a Vail touchdown pass to Kyle Berg, cutting the lead to 55-14. Sterling would seal the game on their next drive with Andrew Drake scoring on a 23 yard touchdown run. The final score would be 62-14.
For the ten Sterling College seniors, this would be their last game. Those ten seniors are Keoki Burbank, Joey Garcia, Clay McEachern, David Wray IV, Chris Story, Chandler Keenan, Carl Nolan, Mike Danski, Tory King, and David Seda. These ten individuals have made a large impact on the Sterling College Football Team, the Sterling College Campus, and the Sterling Community. Their contributions to the program are highly appreciated and will be sorely missed next season. Thank you, seniors. Thank you.
With the victory, Sterling's final 2010 record is 7-3, 6-3 in the KCAC. Because Sterling beat Kansas Wesleyan earlier this year and the two teams finished with the same record, Sterling will finish ahead of KWU in the final KCAC Standings. The Final KCAC Standings are: First Place - McPherson College; Second Place - Ottawa University; Third Place - Sterling College; Fourth Place - Kansas Wesleyan University; Fifth Place - Friends University; Sixth Place - Tabor College; Seventh Place - Bethany College; Eighth Place - Southwestern College; Ninth Place - University of Saint Mary; Tenth Place - Bethel College.
McPherson College will receive the KCAC automatic bid to the NAIA Championship Series. Ottawa University should receive an at large bid into the Series as well.