Sets up battle of undefeateds against Bethany in two weeks.
The McPherson College football team scored on eight of its first 11 possessions en route to a 43-14 season-opening win over Texas Wesleyan University Saturday afternoon at McPherson Stadium.
After being forced to punt on the their first possession, the Bulldogs (1-0) grabbed the lead their second time, taking a short field and quickly converting it into points as Tyrone Campbell scored from four yards out.
A pair of Jack Reid field goals - one from 20 yards out and another from 40 - pushed the McPherson lead to 12-0 just over two minutes into the second quarter.
Texas Wesleyan's first drive of the second quarter ended fortuitously for McPherson as an errant snap sailed over the head of Ram punter Colby Reed, giving the Bulldogs the ball on the TWU 1-yard line. Campbell plunged in on the next play to move McPherson ahead 19-0.
The Bulldogs tacked on two more touchdowns before halftime as Ed Crouch found Jackson Goodmiller from 8 yards out, then connected with Campbell on a 63-yard scoring strike.
In the third quarter, McPherson added to its lead with another Reid field goal and a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown by Thomas Lanktree.
The Rams finally broke through in the fourth quarter for a pair of touchdowns as Kane Hardin hit Erik Richards for a 27-yard touchdown and Donovan Davidson on an 82-yard pitch-and-catch.
The Bulldogs held the Rams to 189 yards of total offense, including just five yards on the ground. For their part, McPherson racked up 370 yards - 213 through the air and 157 on the ground.
Crouch finished 12 of 24 through the air for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He was also the game's leading rusher with 75 yards on 11 carries.
Campbell was limited to just 26 yards on the ground but did score twice. He added three catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. Goodmiller had a game-high four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Texas Wesleyan was led by Erik Richards' three catches.
Defensively, Dominic DeLuca , Joseph Hunter and Isaiah Hill each had a team-high six stops with DeLuca and Hunter each posting four solo tackles. Hill added 2.5 tackles for loss and one of McPherson's three sacks.
Vincent Stephenson had a game-high 13 stops with a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery to lead Texas Wesleyan. Tristen Blake added 10 stops (three solo).
Saturday marked the first on-the-field win for McPherson in a season opener since the Bulldogs' 2010 Kansas Collegiate Athetic Conference championship season. In 2014, McPherson was awarded a forfeit victory over Bacone after falling 24-7.
"Up until the fourth quarter, I thought our execution was pretty good," said head coach Paul Mierkiewicz. "I was kinda disappointed that we didn't get an offensive touchdown in the second half. All-in-all, I thought our kids' leadership was great. I think their demeanor on the sideline was great and that's everything we're looking for as we move forward as a football program."
The Bulldogs, who are idle next weekend, return to the field in two weeks against Bethany College at Lindstrom Field at the Anderson Athletic Complex in Lindsborg. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. in what will be the KCAC opener for both schools.