Wade Steinlage, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
OSKALOOSA – The William Penn football team took out some frustration Saturday, ‘running’ on all cylinders in a 61-14 Heart of America Athletic Conference North Division win over Graceland.
WPU (4-6, 2-2 North) accumulated a season-best 613 yards of total offense, including 544 on the ground as it thoroughly dominated the Yellowjackets (1-9, 1-3 North) on Senior Day. A total of seven different players had a part in the squad’s nine touchdowns, paced by three rushing scores by Amos Johnson (Sr., Rock Island, Ill., Sports Management and Business Management).
The senior fullback, who racked up a team-high 120 yards on the ground Saturday, carried the ball four times on the game’s opening drive, capping it with a 13-yard TD.
GU moved into navy and gold territory on the ensuing possession, but stalled out. William Penn’s other impressive fullback, Ben Sherman (So., Troy, Pa., Elementary Education), then went to work, taking the hand-off four times, eventually putting the pigskin away from four yards out. The sophomore ended up a close second in total rushing yards with 118.
The first of three Statesmen interceptions occurred just two plays later as Detorien Rawlinson (So., York, S.C., Psychology) hauled in his squad-best third pick of the year. The opening period wrapped up with the hosts leading 20-0 as Johnson yet again found paydirt on an eight-run scamper.
Not that the offense needed a shorter field, but it got it as its fourth drive began at the 50. Three consecutive positive carries from Sherman was followed up by Colin Lentz (Sr., Bettendorf, Iowa, Sociology) breaking away for a 32-yard touchdown run. The senior slotback picked up 47 yards Saturday.
The Yellowjackets, who came in averaging over 400 yards of offense but were limited to 309 by WPU, had another drive putter out on the home team’s side of the gridiron. Then, for the third and final time, Johnson was called upon to be the workhorse and he crossed the goal line from 22 yards away for a 34-0 advantage midway through the second quarter.
Kody Wilson (Fr., Edmond, Okla.) joined Rawlinson in the pick club on the game’s next drive, whileTyler Wood (Jr., Newton, Iowa, Education) went to the air for the first time to make it 41-0 at intermission. The junior completed three of his six passes on the day during the march, ending with a 28-yarder to TJ Hayes (So., Chicago, Ill.). At game’s end, Wood was 6-for-6 for 69 yards.
WPU continued to roll in the third stanza. The defense collected back-to-back turnovers asRay Watson (Sr., Apple Valley, Minn., Physical Education) intercepted a pass andKevin Rusler (So., Carson City, Nev., Sociology) picked up a fumble forced byNarada Poole (Fr., Iowa City, Iowa). Each of the takeaways were converted into TDs asTre Nimmers (So., Rock Island, Ill.) ran in from 15 yards and Alex Crehan (Jr., Troy, Ill., Business Management) did so on as well on a 12-yard rush.
The visitors finally broke got on the board to break up the shutout, but the Statesmen answered back on Crehan’s second touchdown–a 14-yarder this time around to cap William Penn’s scoring. The back-up signal-caller tallied 84 rushing yards. A total of 14 different players ran the ball with 10 reaching double figures.
Defensively, Mason Wisse (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Physical Education) led the way with eight stops, including one sack. Dan Mindermann (Jr., Indianola, Iowa, Exercise Science) and Jalan Cooper (Jr., Houston, Texas) matched him with a sack as well.
Next Up:William Penn travels to Des Moines next Saturday, looking to retain the Rock and Ladder Trophy as it faces No. 5 Grand View in Heart North Division action at noon.