The McPherson College football team fell to Sterling College in its home opener Saturday night to the Sterling College Warriors 29-19.
Much of Saturday's outcome came down to their inability at times to stop the Warriors' running game, which consisted of a lot of draws and keepers by the SC quarterback, Cedrick Phillips, who finished with 109 yards on 19 carries and two rushing touchdowns. He also had 113 yards through the air on 23 attempts. The Bulldogs also struggled to execute on PATs, missing one kick and fumbling on a failed two point conversion that the Warriors picked up and went 96 yards the other way for a touchdown.
Statistically the Bulldogs didn't have a bad night. On defense, they gave up a total of 361 yards. While on the other side of the ball, they weren't far off that number with 355. The Bulldog offense had 158 rushing yards, and another 197 through the air.
Individually, Bailey Sites and Kollin Goering led the defense with seven tackles each. Patrick Calip picked up the only turnover for the Bulldogs, picking off a pass from the Warriors' quarterback in the second quarter. Ed Crouch threw for 197 yards, going 20 for 37 with zero interceptions. Crouch also led the way on the ground, racking up 147 yards on 17 attempts.
During halftime, the Bulldogs honored former Bulldog student manager Blake Reed, who died in 2010 from complications from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, by naming the 2019 Mac2Mac scholarship recipient. This year's recipient is Ben Nikkel, who finished with 10 catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
"The effort is great and the attention to detail must get better," Bulldogs Head coach Jeremiah Fiscus said. "The guys have to stick together and keep moving in the direction that we set."
Next up for the Bulldogs is a matchup next Saturday on the road at Bethel College. The Threshers moved to 2-0 with a 54-34 win at Avila University. Next Saturday's kick off in North Newton is slated for 6:00 pm.