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Loper football rebounds after fast start in Topeka


The UNK football team bounced back after its first loss of the season by beating Washburn 21-13 in Week 3. The Ichabod offense produced 45 and 40 points in their first two games, but the Loper defense was able to contain the high-powered group.

UNK’s defense held Washburn quarterback Kellen Simoncic to 145 yards with 19 completions on 37 attempts.

“I think we got the quarterback rattled early,” said UNK football coach Josh Lynn. “We kind of took him out of his game. The big thing was not giving them any balls over the top. When they did throw they had to work for it.”

UNK quarterback TJ Davis was able to make a splash in the passing game as well. He threw for 164 yards with eight completions on 13 attempts and two touchdowns. 

“Our play-action game set up really well with what we were doing with our running game,” Lynn said. “Give him credit. He made some great throws this week.”

Davis’ first passing touchdown came in the first quarter when AJ McPhee was able to make a contested catch at the 2-yard line and got tackled across the plane into the endzone.

An 18-yard touchdown pass to Zorian Stanton and a 9-yard touchdown run by Davis kept the momentum rolling for the Lopers in the first half.

“We talked all week about the explosive plays,” Lynn said. “For us to be successful we have to put up points. You got to run the ball and when you have your shots you have to take them.” 

Washburn was able to get the Loper lead down to 21-13 in the second half. Early in the fourth quarter, Davis hit receiver Bailey Torres down the sideline. Torres ran the ball all the way down to the 1-yard line but had it knocked out from behind by Jordan Finnesy into the endzone for a touchback.

Lynn was proud of the way his team battled after the play.

“We responded pretty well defensively,” Lynn said. “That was another opportunity to put a team away and we lost it there but that’s the kind of stuff we have to overcome.”

UNK returns home to face a winless Central Missouri on Saturday, which will be against former head coach Josh Lamberson. Lynn took over when the Lamberson era ended for the Lopers after the 2016 season. 

“It’s just another MIAA football team,” Lynn said. “It’s been a long time since he was here. We need to worry about us and he’s got a good football team.”

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GRANT TIGHE, Sports Editor
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