After winning their first four Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) games, the William Jewell College football team suffered their first conference loss to Quincy University Oct. 25. The team looked to rebound and maintain their position for their first conference championship over the weekend in Lebanon, Ill. The McKendree University Bearcats proved to be too tough in the second half for the Cardinals. Jewell has fallen to an overall record of 4-5 and a conference record of 4-2 after the loss.
The Bearcats struck first, scoring a field goal from Steven O’Block and a touchdown pass from Isaac Fisher to Tobais Cook in the first quarter of play. Jewell responded early in the second quarter on a 34-yard field goal from Brandon Womack. A rushing touchdown from Shayeen Edwards and another O’Block field goal put the Bearcats up 20-3 late into the first half. Jewell was able to score with five seconds remaining in the half on a 27 yard touchdown pass from Nick West to Anthony Mullins, bringing Jewell within ten points to the Bearcats.
The Cardinal offense found momentum after halftime. A 23-yard field goal from Womack early in the third quarter brought Jewell within seven points of the Bearcat lead. West and Mullins met again for Jewell’s second touchdown on an 11-yard pass, tying the game at 20. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, McKendree took over the rest of the game. Kevin Witcik scored from 25 yards out as the Bearcats retook the lead. They scored again from three yards on a Fisher run to close out the third quarter. Cook and Fisher further extended the McKendree lead to 41-20 in the fourth quarter on another touchdown pass. The Bearcats walked off the field with a victory.
West led the team, completing 11 of his passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He compiled 35 rushing yards. Quarterback DJ Balazs, senior, came in as relief quarterback in the second half, completing 12 passes for 80 yards and an interception. The Jewell quarterbacks saw a lot of pressure throughout the game as the Bearcats racked up five sacks. Trejuan Mask, first-year, led the Cardinals in rushing, running for 103 yards and also contributed in the passing game with 74 receiving yards. Mullins lead the team in receiving, with 78 yards and two touchdowns. Linebacker Jimmy Destefano led the defense with 14 tackles and one tackle-for-loss. Defensive back Thomas Clanton contributed with 13 tackles on the defensive side of the ball. The Cardinals finished plus two in turnovers, after recovering three Bearcat fumbles.
The Cardinals look to finish with a winning record and become bowl-eligible with wins in the final two games of the season. Their final home game will be played Saturday, Nov. 8. Senior-day kickoff is scheduled for 1 P.M. at Green Stadium. William Jewell will be taking on St. Joseph’s College (6-3, 3-3). The Cardinals finish the regular season in Indianapolis, Ind. against the University of Indianapolis (8-1, 6-0) Nov. 15. The Greyhounds are the two-time defending GLVC champions.