It hasn’t been the kind of senior season that McPherson College standout receiver Andy Skinner had envisioned.
Skinner, coming off back-to-back 67-catch seasons that vaulted him to elite national status, entered Saturday’s game with a modest 21 catches for 305 yards and just three touchdowns.
But against Tabor, Skinner returned to his old form, catching three first-half touchdown passes to spearhead a 28-12 Bulldog victory that snapped a three-game losing streak.
Mac is now 3-3 in the KCAC and 3-5 overall with three games remaining. If it wins out, it will have its third straight winning season.
“I was happy for Andy. It did my heart good to see him get in three times,” Mac coach Joe Bettasso said. “It’s been unfortunate that we haven’t been able to get him the ball as much or Joe (Middleton) more touches. We just haven’t been getting going as much as we have in the past.”
The Bulldogs came out focused, forcing a turnover on the game’s second play, a fumble recovery by J.L. Gomez. Jake Snodgrass immediately went to Skinner on the next play for a seven-yard score.
Later in the quarter, a Drew Thomsen fumble recovery set the Bulldogs up in great field position, with Snodgrass going up top to Skinner for 33 yards and a 14-0 lead.
Before the half was over, Snodgrass and Skinner combined on a 15-yarder to make it 21-0 and then a Gerald Oriol fumble recovery led to a three-yard run by Julius Record for a 28-0 halftime lead.
“We finally came out swinging,” Bettasso said. “I told them you want to come out and throw the first punch. We preached all week about the (wish) bone, you’ve got to keep them in front of you and play disciplined football and good things will happen. We forced some turnovers that we were able to convert into touchdowns. We wanted them to make the mistakes and they did.”
Mac had forced only four fumbles all year, but Tabor put the ball on the ground eight times, losing three.
Snodgrass did a terrific job of running the Mac offense, which went somewhat conservative in the second half after building up a big lead. He threw for 228 yards and was not picked, while running for 91 yards, taking advantage of the Bluejays’ attention being paid to ace running back Travon Jones. Jones was limited to 75 yards on 17 carries after having four 100-yard games in the first seven weeks.
The Mac defense did permit a pair of fourth-quarter scores, but for the most part played its best game. Tabor was held to 295 yards, averaging less than five yards a play. The Jays, even facing a big deficit, stayed with the wishbone, throwing the ball only seven times.
Phillip Wilson led the Bulldogs’ defense with eight tackles, while Gomez was in on seven.
The Bulldogs stay on the road Saturday to play Saint Mary, which was surprised Saturday by Southwestern, 40-31.
Mac Listed First
First Downs -- 18, 15. Rushes-Yards -- 35-176, 53-220. Passing -- 17-28-0-228; 5-7-0-75. Punts-Avg. -- 1-29.0; 4-48.0. Fumbles-Lost -- 0-0, 8-3. Penalties-Yards -- 6-38, 4-40.
Mac -- Snodgrass 10-91, Trav. Jones 17-75, Ter. Jones 6-15, Record 1-3, Skinner 1-(-8).
Tabor -- Monroe 9-81, McKee 13-69, Harrison 7-35, Rozzell 13-20, Johnson 6-8, Polley 2-4, Walker 3-3.
Mac -- Snodgrass 17-28-0-228.
Tabor -- McKee 5-7-0-75.
Mac -- Ozbun 5-85, Skinner 4-82, Record 3-21, Trav. Jones 2-9, Middleton 1-19, Temaat 1-11, Summers-Johnson 1-11.
Tabor -- Simmons 2-34, Gardner 2-17, Johnson 1-24.