JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — The IW football team nearly pulled a road upset on Saturday afternoon at MacMurray, but a late Highlander touchdown spoiled the Tigers’ plans. MacMurray scored the game-winner with 39 seconds left to hault the upset bid, 20-13.
Offense was sparse in the first quarter. Both MacMurray and Iowa Wesleyan had the ball at their opponents’ 35-yard line but both teams were stopped on fourth down. After one period of play the game was still scoreless.
Jacquez Hall broke the scoring drought early in the second quarter. He finished off a 63-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. The snap on the extra point attempt was botched, and the Tigers led 6-0 with 11:58 remaining in the half.
MacMurray punched right back with a 65-yard drive of their own. That drive was capped off by a 19-yard touchdown pass on second and 17. The Highlanders’ PAT sailed through the uprights and MacMurray led 7-6 with 7:47 left in the period.
The Tigers took back the lead on their final possession of the half, and they did so in thrilling fashion. On fourth and two from the MacMurray eight-yard line, Hall got the first down and more, taking the ball into the end zone for a score. It was the second fourth down conversion of the drive. The first one came on a perfectly excecuted fake punt that turend into a 23-yard gain for Dylan McDonald on fourth and five.
Jeremy Scholbrock’s PAT was good and the Tigers led 13-7 at the half. MacMurray wouldn’t get the lead back until the final minute of play.
IW had a chance to stretch the lead to two posessions early in the third quarter but Scholbrock’s 45-yard field goal attempt was blocked. The Highlanders scored on a one-yard rushing touchdown on the next drive, but Adrian Walker blocked the PAT to keep the game tied, 13-13.
The two teams traded punts int he fourth quarter until MacMurray finally broke the tie on a game-winning drive that started with 3:21 left in the game. The Highlanders converted on third down twice in the drive, the second of which was a two-yard touchdown run by leading rusher Asa Donaldson with 39 ticks remaining. MacMurray knocked in the extra point and IW was in a world of trouble.
The Tigers did get past midfield, converting a fourth and 10 on a pass to Jacob Santos as the clock ticked down, but DeMarcus Collins was sacked on the next play and IW ran out of time.
Hall led the team with 92 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Stafford Lewis had 71 yards rushing.
Collins went 8-21 for 76 yards in the loss. Santos had two catches for 26 yards. Charles Robinson had three catches for 22 yards. Tanner Holder caught two balls for 21 yards.
Luke Wells led the defense with 14 tackles, including one sack. Marco Ventura finished the game with 13 tackles. Neither team had any takeaways but Noah Ross did force one fumble.
IW fell to 1-6 overall and 1-4 in the conference with the loss. Saturday marked their second-straight seven-point loss to a team that is undefeated in the conference. The last three losses for IW have come by seven points or less.
IW will try to right the ship on Saturday, Oct. 27, when they take on the College of Saint Scholastica. That game will be at 12 p.m., at Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.