Warriors Muzzle Coyotes 26-19, move to 6-1 in KCAC
If the Warriors were going to have a game that could get in the way of their late season push, it was Saturday in Salina, KS against the game Coyotes of Kansas Wesleyan. Despite what looked like a bleak beginning, the Warriors would do what good teams do when all cylinders aren't firing; they found a way to win.
The Coyotes would get on the board first with an impressive late 1st quarter 69 yard drive. With the Warrior offense ineffective to that point, those 7 points were big. Johnelle Murphy would surprisingly rectify and answer with an 84 yard kickoff return for touchdown to tie the score at the end of the quarter.
After the Coyotes downed a punt inside the 3 yardline, the Warriors would suffer a run for loss resulting in a safety, giving the Coyotes a 9-7 lead. On the insuing possession, the Coyotes would score yet again to make it a 16-7 game with 6:30 left in the 1st half. From that point, the Warriors would command the remainder of the half.
The next possession for the Warriors would feature the passing of QB Tyler Degenhardt going 4 for 5 with a 3rd and 14 inside the red zone going for a Johnelle Murphy TD reception, making it a 14-16 game. The subsequent kickoff would be a game changer as the Coyotes would fumble it away on their own 23 yard line, to be recovered by the Warriors with just over a minute to go in the contest. In three plays, RB Rashard Colquitt would take a toss sweep 17 yards to paydirt, putting the score at 20-16 Warriors going into half.
The 2nd half would be started off in a typical grooling Warrior drive as QB Tyler Degenhardt would use his legs to power the Warrior attack, capping a 68 yard drive off with a 31 yard TD scamper making the score 26-16. The Warrior defense would then clock in and shut down the Coyote attack stimying host for the remainder of the half. Both teams would trade possessions late into the 4th quarter when Kansas Wesleyan was finally able to move the ball to 1st and goal to go from the 3 yard line of Sterling with a little over 3 minutes to play. The Warriors would put on what would be a game winning goal line stand as the Coyotes would settle for the field goal, but never get an opportunity to get the ball back, making the final score 26-19.
Unfortunately the play to enter the red zone late in the 4th quarter would cost the Coyotes and the KCAC dearly as Preston McCorkle, the highly talented running back would suffer a severe head or neck injury that would require emergency medical care. Game personnel reported movement from McCorkle as he lay on the turf, but nothing has been confirmed at time of this release. Each team shared a moment in prayer for the athlete.
Tyler Degenhardt would be the offensive juggernaut for the Warriors as he would run and throw for a TD and gain 128 yards on the ground and throw for 118. Derrick Sullivan would once again anchor the defense logging 8 tackles on the day, 5 unassisted.
The victory for the Warriors would move them to 6-2 overall, and 6-1 in the KCAC, tied for second with Ottawa. The Warriors will host the 3-4 Spires of St. Mary next Saturday who suffered a road loss to Bethany College this week. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30.