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Lopers score late to hand Washburn football first loss, 28-24


KEARNEY, Neb. -- Washburn University's football team lost for the first time in 2021 Saturday, falling to 2-1 after a 28-24 loss to No. 23-ranked Nebraska-Kearney at Cope Stadium. 

Ichabod sophomore Kameron Lake put Washburn in front 24-21 on a 26-yard field goal with 8:34 to go in the game, but 3-0 Nebraska-Kearney pulled out the MIAA victory with an 8-yard touchdown run from quarterback TJ Davis with 57 seconds remaining. 

The Lopers converted a third and 10 to the UNK 48 and then after a gain of two and an incomplete pass, the Lopers converted another third down play to the Ichabod 33 on a 17-yard pass completion with 3:35 to go.

UNK converted another third down conversion to the Ichabod 18 with just under two minutes to play as Davis went over the 250-yard rushing mark on the play.

Davis then completed a 10-yard pass and moved the ball to the Ichabod 8-yard-line before scoring the game-winning TD.

Washburn took over at its 25 with 57 seconds to play, but after reaching the UNK 50, the Ichabod drive ended with an interception as Washburn had its five-game winning streak, dating back to 2019, snapped.

James Letcher JrjpgWashburn's James Letcher Jr. makes a diving catch in Saturday's 28-24 road loss at Nebraska-Kearney. [Photo by Phil Anderson/Special to TSN]
The Ichabods were outgained 483 to 372 in the game as the Lopers accounted for 317 yards on the ground with 258 on 30 carries by Davis, who rushed for three scores in the game and was 16 of 26 passing for 166 yards.

The Ichabods opened the scoring with a seven-play, 84-yard drive, wrapped up by a Taylon Peters 4-yard touchdown run with 11:09 to play in the first quarter. The Lopers came right back with a scoring drive of their own with a 14-play, 78-yard drive on their only possession of the first 15 minutes.
The Lopers put together a 99-yard scoring drive on six plays, highlighted by 30 and 62-yard runs by Davis, to take a 14-7 lead with 3:30 left in the first half.
Washburn then marched 55 yards on six plays capped by Mitch Schurig's 2-yard toss to Connor Searcy, tying the score at 14.

The score remained 14-all entering the fourth quarter before the Lopers scored on the second play of the frame on a 51-yard touchdown run by Davis with 14:20 to play in the game.
Schurig hit James Letcher Jr. on a 35-yard strike to the UNK 3-yard line before Zach Willis scored to force another tie.
The Ichabod defense forced a fumble when Davis was sacked by Braden Rose and it was recovered by Malick Fall at the UNK 30.

A 28-yard run by Peters moved the ball to the UNK 11, but the Washburn drive stalled before WU took the lead on Lake's field goal.

TaylonPeters 2Taylon Peters (21) is congratulated by his Washburn teammates after scoring the game's first touchdown Saturday at Nebraska-Kearney. [Photo by Phil Anderson/Special to TSN]

Peters finished with 113 rushing yards and a touchdown on 13 carries while Schurig (Washburn Rural) was 17 of 31 passing for 214 yards and Letcher had five catches for 64 yards.

Jacob Anderson (Topeka High) led the Ichabod defense with seven tackles while K.J. Turner, Landon Urban and Brooks Peavler (Hayden) all had six stops.

Washburn will return to Topeka to face Missouri Western on Family Day on Sept. 25.

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