The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Football bounces back with homecoming victory

Washburn’s Tyce Brown runs a route against UNK’s Jabea Tilong during the Loper’s 27-21 win over Ichabods. Photo by Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff

After two straight losses, the Loper football team bounced back on a warm and windy afternoon, beating Washburn on Homecoming 27-21. 

It was a sluggish start for both teams offensively, with no points being scored by either side in the first quarter. After a three-and-out by UNK on its first drive, the Ichabods had an 11-play drive, but failed to convert on fourth down at the Loper 23-yard line, turning it over on downs. 

UNK would again punt on their next offensive possession, and Washburn drove all the way to the UNK 40-yard line, but for the second straight drive would be unable to convert on fourth down after a big sack on fourth-and-two by linebacker Joko Willis. 

After that, UNK would go on a 13-play drive that took the game well into the second quarter. After taking seven-and-a-half minutes off the clock, quarterback TJ Davis would cap off the drive with a five-yard rushing touchdown. Gabe Heins missed the point after, and the Lopers led, 6-0. 

On the ensuing drive, the Ichabods would again march into UNK territory, but wouldn’t be able to convert on fourth-and-1 this time. Washburn finished 0-3 on fourth downs in the first half, and the Lopers carried a 6-0 lead into the half. 

“We try to pride ourselves when it comes to fourth down stops, because we have to get off the field,” defensive back Armani Webster said. “Sometimes it just comes down to who wants it more.” 

Both offenses would start to figure things out in the second half. After a blocked punt by Nathan Pesek on the second drive of the second half for Washburn, UNK took advantage of the short field, and knocked in a 10-yard rushing touchdown from Demareus Hosey. 

Washburn answered with a long 12-play drive, making it a 13-7 Loper lead after three quarters. 

UNK started to pull away to begin the fourth quarter, with Davis connecting with Severyn Foster on a 42-yard touchdown pass. 

The play was so successful because Davis looked as though he was going to run, and threw late to a wide open Foster for the score. 

“Those are the throws you’re scared of, you don’t want to overthrow him,” Davis said. “We worked on that play a couple times in practice, and it didn’t look that good every time, but I’m glad it looked that good today.” 

On the next Washburn possession, on a third-and-9, Willis would both force a fumble, and then return it 35-yards for a Loper touchdown, putting UNK up 27-7 with less than ten minutes to play. 

Right when the Lopers thought they had the game in hand, Washburn would score twice in the span of three minutes, cutting the lead to 27-21. 

With 41 seconds left, Washburn would try the onside kick, and after a scrum to determine who recovered the ball, they determined that the Lopers had the football, and they were able to kneel the ball to win, 27-21. 

Washburn ran 32 more plays, had 160 more yards, and had 13 more first downs than the Lopers. With all that, the Lopers were still able to prevail. Davis went 10-16 with 127 yards, also rushing 15 times for 68 yards, accounting for two total touchdowns. Webster finished with 10 tackles and an interception to lead the way defensively for the Lopers. 

“As Al Davis said, ‘just win baby,’” coach Ryan Held said. “When you’re trying to find your way in this league, there’s no easy path and it’s never going to be easy for victories.” 

UNK improves to 2-3, and will be on the road at nationally ranked 4-1 Central Missouri next week. The Mules have the number one scoring and passing offense in the MIAA. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday. 

Jeremiah Cox and Sethe Holt celebrate during the homecoming win over Washburn. Photo by Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jon Willis
Jon Willis, Reporter
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *