SALINA—All good things must come to an end. For the McPherson College football team, it ended in a worse way for first-year head coach, Jeremiah Fiscus. The Bulldogs were routed by third-ranked Kansas Wesleyan University, 48-14, snapping a five-game winning streak and dropping the Bulldogs to 5-4 (5-3 in KCAC) on the season, while the Coyotes remain undefeated at 8-0 (7-0 in KCAC).
"When you play a team like this—they are a very disciplined team, and they make plays," Fiscus said. "You can't give any teams like that any lead ways because if they do, they will run away from you. It's kind of one of those deals where they've been good for quite a while. They inherited a very good team, a team that won a championship last year.
Just when the Bulldogs hung around with the Coyotes majority of the first quarter, Johnny Feauto of Kansas Wesleyan exploded in the second quarter. The Coyotes racked up 380 yards of total offense and scored 34 points in the second quarter alone. Feauto threw 16 of 20 completions for 329 yards and five touchdowns in the first half alone.Four of those touchdowns were linked to his tight end Trevor Poe-Evans, who led the with six catches for 147 yards. The Coyotes led 41-0 at halftime.
"They are six years ahead of us," Fiscus said. "You don't play good football like that if you don't do the things that we do in the offseason. In terms of discipline, in the weight room, recruiting and all of these things. So it's not 'hey, are you better than us? Yeah you're better than us, but you're six years ahead of us.'"
McPherson punted the ball nine times, and quarterback Ed Crouch was sacked nine times while completing 38 percent of his passes. What also was costly were the penalties. The Bulldogs were flagged 11 times, allowing 118 yards after the penalty. Fiscus didn't identify the mistakes that stood out to him the most, but will take it as learning tool when they move on to the next game.
"Each plan has its own life," Fiscus said. "It's not where you place the value in the result. You place the value in how you get to the result one way or the other. It's just like I tell the kids. You get told tomorrow when we watch film to feel bad about this one, and then it's over and will start building toward the next game."
Am I happy with the way we fought? Yeah. Am I happy by the way we executed? Absolutely not, but that's why you can't have mistakes against very good teams like that."
Feauto sat out for the rest of the game, but the Coyotes' defense did not let up, committing two more turnovers on the Bulldogs in the third quarter. The second one resulted in a 10-yard scoop-and-score by Kansas Wesleyan's Charles Barnes III.
The Bulldogs were able to avoid a shutout before the end of the third. LaMeshio Hill scored on a wildcat play for six yards as the clock expired. Crouched followed it up with a six-yard run later on in the fourth quarter. Crouch, who threw for 158 yards, now holds the all-time record in total yards passing with 7,236, beating out former Bulldog Shane Mascarenas (7143).
The Bulldogs look to bounce back next Saturday when they host their local rival Bethany College at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 3.
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