LAMONI — The William Penn football team could not overcome a plethora of mistakes as it fell 48-13 to Graceland in Heart of America Conference North Division action Saturday.
WPU (3-7, 1-4 Heart) posted 323 yards of offense with 11 first downs, but gave up 507 yards and 21 first downs to the Yellowjackets (4-7, 2-3 Heart). More importantly, the navy and gold turned the ball over eight times, including six interceptions, in the setback.
The game started off slow for both teams until the home squad found the back of the endzone at the 6:43 mark in the first quarter. The Statesmen offense quickly fizzled out on its next drive, giving the Yellowjackets the ball right back.
Harlan Plumber (Jr., Bryan, Texas, Exercise Science) kept it at a one-score game, however, by forcing a fumble that was recovered by Howard Huerta (So., Panaroma City, Calif., Sports Management). It was one of three takeaways by the visitors. The excitement was short-lived, as a few plays later, the visitors suffered the same misfortune and GU capitalized to make it 13-0.
William Penn instantly responded, though, as Sterling Ramsey II (Fr., Tulsa, Okla., Business Management) hooked up with Trey Mosley (So., Fort Dodge, Iowa. Kinesiology) for a 77-yard touchdown. Ramsey was 9-for-21 for 181 yards and two scores, but was unfortunately intercepted three times.
The Yellowjackets retaliated with another touchdown, going up 19-6 early in the second quarter. In what appeared to be the start of a shootout, WPU cut back into the deficit as Ramsey II found Rakim Lamarre (Fr., Woodbridge, Va., Exercise Science) for a 71-yard touchdown.
The William Penn defense then finally slowed the Graceland offense with an interception by Huerta. The giveaways unfortunately became contagious as Ramsey II returned the pigskin with an interception of his own.
The Yellowjackets then turned the game on its head with back-to-back scores in the final five-plus minutes to extend their lead to 34-13 at intermission.
Both defenses cranked the disorder dial up to the max in the second half as just two touchdowns were scored, both unfortunately by Graceland. The Statesmen offense was stymied, failing to cross midfield in the second half.
Emilio Monsivais (Grad., St. Louis, Mo., Master’s of Sports Management) entered the game after the break and completed six passes for 52 yards, but was intercepted three times.
Chauncey Andrews (So., Tulsa, Okla., Psychology) paced the running attack with 45 yards on 10 carries, while Mosley led the receivers with 102 yards and his touchdown.
Jagger Blubaugh (Jr., Wichita, Kan., Exercise Science) guided the defense with 14 tackles (two for loss) and an interception. Huerta and Plumber both tallied eight tackles as well, while Kyriee Lewis (So., Eight Mile, Ala., Sports Management) and Marquis Knighten (Grad., Buena Park, Calif., Master’s of Organizational Leadership) each tallied a sack.
“Today was a tough day for the team,” said Head Coach Todd Hafner. “We really wanted to send our seniors out on a high note, but were not able to get that done. I love this group of young men and know that they will be very successful. I also want to say thank you to all the fans that braved the cold weather today and came out to support us.”