Kearney, Neb. – The Washburn Ichabods used an 87-yard touchdown pass and a 34-yard field goal to slip past Nebraska-Kearney, 10-7, Thursday night at Ron & Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field. Washburn (1-1) bounces back from a season-opening loss and has now beaten the Lopers (0-2) six straight times, dating back to 1985. On a cold and rainy night, a crowd of 3,207 watched the two teams combine for 576 yards of offense, 10 punts, two missed field goals and two errant snaps on two other field goal attempts. Behind the running of sophomore back Romero Cotton (Hutchinson, Kans.) and an 18-yard pass from junior QB Bronson Marsh (Millard South H.S.) to junior tight end Omar Rodriguez (Tempe, Ariz.), UNK was moving the ball down the field late in the 3rd quarter with the score tied at seven. A four-yard run by Cotton made it 1st and 10 from the Washburn 13-yard line. However, two subsequent runs yielded just three yards and then Marsh had to recover a fumble, resulting in a loss.
On 4th down, true freshman kicker Brendan Wentling (Grand Island) setup for a 38-yard field goal but junior holder Josh Papa (David Snap) had to coral the snap and was tackled for a seven-yard loss. The same thing happened to Washburn late in the 1st quarter, resulting in a 10-yard loss. UNK’s defense held after the attempted field goal but Washburn managed to pick off Marsh on the Lopers next drive. Linebacker Mark Kolmer managed to catch a tipped ball at the UNK 37-yard line after Akhmad Abdul-Razzaq hit Marsh as he threw. Three plays later, Ichabod QB Mitch Buehler fumbled the snap but running back Vershon Moore pounced on it. That allowed preseason All-American kicker Justin Linn to make a 34-yard field goal with 8:14 left. He did miss a 32-yarder late in the 1st half. For UNK, Wentling just missed a 30-yard field goal with 9:05 left in the 2nd quarter. That was the final play of a 17-play, 79-yard drive that featured a 26-yard pass from Marsh to junior receiver Tannor Mroczek (Gothenburg) on 3rd and 17. The ball actually hit Washburn’s Shay Wooten but still managed to fall into Mroczek’s hands. After Linn’s made field goal, UNK had two more possessions but the plays netted only 11 yards.
Washburn finished with 316 yards, running 41 times for 144 yards (3.5 avg.). Reserve back Sean McPherson had 17 carries for 63 yards with Moore at 14 totes for 54 yards. Buehler was 14 of 32 in the air for 172 yards and one TD. The 87-yard scoring pass came on 3rd and 17 early in the 2nd quarter and went to senior WR Brad Gourley. UNK, finishing with 260 yards, knotted thing right before the half thanks to a scintillating run by Marsh. He broke multiple tackles and dodged, dipped, ducked and dodged his way for a 46-yard gain on 3rd and 10. Two plays later, he called his own number and ran seven yards for his second TD of the season. Cotton managed 88 yards on 23 carries while Marsh ran netted 76 on 19 carries. While he gained 111 yards, four sacks and couple of other plays brought that total down by 35 yards. Seven of Marsh’s completions went to Mroczek (38 yards) with redshirt freshman Kalen Woodyard (Ocala, Fla.) having an 11-yard reception late in the game. Washburn managed 15 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of 40 yards. Four of those were sacks with Calvin Kenney and Abdul-Razzaq each totaling 10 tackles. Prior to leaving, Columbus junior safety Dillon Loschen had 10 tackles (five solo) as did sophomore ILB Tyke Kozeal (Sargent). On the perimeter, freshman corner Famous McKinnon (Miami) had seven tackles, including three for a loss of 14 yards. UNK hosts Missouri Southern State next Saturday at 3:00 p.m. The Lions (0-2) fell at home to No. 1 NW Missouri State Thursday, 40-14.