Warriors Open Season With Win Over Moundbuilders
Sterling, Kan. - In football on Saturday night, the Sterling College Warriors defeated the Southwestern College Moundbuilders in a game that was closer than the 28-17 final score. The Warriors were able to overcome five turnovers and a big rushing game by Southwestern College's Michael Coppock to come out with the victory.
The first quarter started slow, with both offenses struggling to get started until the six minute mark. At the six minute mark, the Warriors took control on a 71 yard scoring drive that lasted three minutes and 28 seconds and was capped off by a 35 yard rushing touchdown by senior running back Rashard Colquitt. When the first quarter was over, the Warriors had a 7-0 lead.
Southwestern College struck first in the second quarter on an Austin Ledy field goal at the ten minute mark to bring the Moundbuilders within four. Sterling was able to answer with the ground game that was the bread and butter for the Warriors in 2009. Colquitt scored his second rushing touchdown of the game on a four minute and seven second drive with one minute and 38 seconds left in the half. A bad snap on the Moundbuilders' ensuing drive gave the Warriors the football in the red zone. Keoki Burbank was able to capitalize on the field position, throwing a ten yard touchdown pass to Matt James with thirteen seconds left on the clock. At the half, the Warriors were leading 21-3.
Sterling struggled in the third quarter, allowing Southwestern to score their first touchdown of the game with eight minutes left. Moundbuilder quarterback Jordan Barrett completed a six yard touchdown pass to Alex Hutchins to cut the lead 21-10. For the rest of the quarter, neither team could consistently move the ball down field. Going into the fourth quarter, the score was 21-10.
The Warriors looked in control early in the fourth quarter with Chris Story blocking a field goal on the opening possession of the quarter. Joey Garcia took advantage of the momentum created by Story, scoring untouched on an option keeper that kept the Moundbuilder defense on its heels. Southwestern responded by scoring on their next drive on another Barrett touchdown pass. For the final seven minutes, the atmosphere in Smisor Stadium was nervous. Michael Talton played the hero for the Warriors late in the fourth quarter, intercepting a pass in the end zone that would have pulled the Moundbuilders to within one score. After a big fourth down stop by the Sterling defense with 34 seconds remaining in the game, the Warriors were able to kneel on the ball and escape with a 28-17 victory.
Colquitt and James had big offensive games for the Warriors. Coquitt carried the ball 24 times, had 129 yards rushing and two touchdowns. James had five receptions for 85 yards and one amazing touchdown catch.
For the Moundbuilders, Coppock had a huge game on the ground. Coppock rushed for 179 yards on 30 carries in the game with most of his yard coming after initial contact.
Defensively, Kerby Rice led the Warriors with two sacks and seven tackles. Corey Dunbar also played well, contributing four tackles and two interceptions.
With the win, the Warriors open their season at 1-0 overall and 1-0 in the KCAC.
The Warriors next game will be Saturday, September 18 at home against Peru State. Game time is 1:00 PM. The game will be streamed live on the Sterling College website.