McPherson (1-4, 1-2 KCAC) at Ottawa (2-3, 2-1)
About McPherson: The Bulldogs enters Saturday's contest coming off of a 49-25 loss to No. 14 Kansas Wesleyan University. Quarterback Ed Crouch rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown. He went 14-for-32 through the air for 215 yards and three touchdowns. McPherson outgained Kansas Wesleyan last Saturday, 556 to 522.
Crouch leads McPherson in rushing (95.4) and passing (191.6) yards per game. Jackson Goodmiller leads MC in receptions per game (4.2). Travis Steenson is the team's leader in tackles (14.2) and sacks (0.4).
The Bulldogs are ranked 18th in the NAIA in first downs per game (23), 22nd in opponent fourth down conversion (.333), 34th in rushing offense per game (193.4), 25th in total rushing offense (967), 28th in punting yards per attempt (38.1), 33rd in passing defense per game (399.4), 37th in third down conversion (.375), 38th in scoring defense per game (26.8), 42ndin defensive passing efficiency (127.4), 44th in fourth down conversion (.417), 46th in total passing yards (1,030), 48th in passing yards per game (206), and 50th in penalty yards per game (65).
About Ottawa: After starting off the season 0-3 the Braves have won two straight games. Ottawa is coming off of a 10-0 victory over Bethel College in North Newton. last Saturday night. The Braves had 209 yards of offense, 143 rushing and 66 on the ground, while the Threshers had 198 yards, 41 yards rushing and 157 yards passing.
Braves are led in rushing (80.4) by Ethan Paul-Davis, Dayton Walter is the team's leader in passing yards per game (153.2), CJ Whittaker, Jr. is Ottawa's leader in receptions per game (5.5), and Vinny Wurst leads the Braves in tackles (9.8) per game and sacks (1) per game.
As a team, Ottawa is ranked sixth in the NAIA in punt return yards per attempt (17.7), eighth in opponent fourth down conversion percentage (.222), 14th in opponent third down conversion percentage (.310), 19th in fourth down conversion percentage (.571), 19th in sacks by (2.8), 21st in total sacks by (14), 33rd in rushing defense per game (142.6), 38th in opponent first downs (96), 48th in total defense (391.8), 48th in total rushing yards (707), and 49th in field goal percentage (.500).
History: Ottawa is 58-23 all-time against the Bulldogs. Saturday's meeting will be the 82nd all-time meeting between the two teams. Ottawa is 32-8 at home against McPherson.
(12) Tabor (3-1, 3-0) at Southwestern (0-4, 0-3)
About Tabor: After trailing 28-9 at halftime, the Bluejays came back to defeat Sterling, 45-42, last weekend in Hillsboro. Joseph Donnell led Tabor with 106 yards rushing on 19 attempts, while Cody Coleman ran for 64 yards on just two attempts. Curry Parham went 17-for-29 through the air for 245 yards, connecting seven times to Zach Johnson who led the Bluejays with 113 receiving yards. Donnell also recorded 75 receiving yards on four receptions.
Defensively, Michael Griffin and Kevin Golden had five solo tackles, while Even Sprayberry and Allen Armstrong recorded four solo tackles apiece.
Parham leads the Bluejays in passing (174.0), Johnson is the team's leader in receptions per game (4.0), Alex Neuschafer leads in tackles per game (10.0), and Sprayberry leads with 0.8 sacks per game. As a team, Tabor leads the NAIA in fourth down conversions (100.00), 12th in pass defense per game (172.80), 13th in field goal percentage (0.857), 14th in pass efficiency (152.00), and 14th in rushing offense per game (228.50).
Individually, Jared Slavens ranks third nationally in field goals per game (1.50) and fifth in total field goals (6), while Charles Beale ranks eighth in punt return yards per attempt (16.70), and Sprayberry ranks ninth in fumbles forced per game (0.50).
About Southwestern: The Moundbuilders came up short in their 2016 home opener Saturday afternoon, dropping a 35-7 decision to the Falcons of Friends University inside Richard L. Jantz Stadium. Southwestern was limited to just 149 total offensive yards in Saturday's contest, and was held without an offensive touchdown in the game.
Sophomore quarterback Christian Gordon was Southwestern's offensive leader in Saturday's game. The Yukon, Okla., native completed 11 of his 28 pass attempts without an interception for 132 yards, and also ran the ball 10 times for 62 yards to finish as the Moundbuidlers' leading rusher. Jacob Sigmon, Donny Ebanks and Terrence Franklin were Gordon's favorite targets with two catches each. Sigmon finished the game with 65 yards thanks to a 33-yard reception, while Ebanks and Franklin fiished with 26 yards and 15 yards, respectively.
Dallas Allen and Dave Matthews anchored the Southwestern defense. Allen finished with 11 tackles (four solo, seven assisted), while Matthews added 10 tackles (two solo, eight assists). David Ashilonu, Ka'Darius McQueen and Tomunci Whitfield each recorded nine total tackles in the game.
The Builders are led in rushing (31.0) and passing (134.3) by Gordon, Tanner Spencer is Southwestern's leader in receptions per game (3.8), and Joey Scelza leads the team in tackles. As a team, the Builders rank seventh in the NAIA in pass defense per game (152.30), while Terrence Franklin ranks 20th in kick off return yards per attempt (26.10) and 23rd in total kick off returns (287).
History: Tabor is 8-3 over Southwestern over the past 11 games, and 3-1 since 2012. The Bluejays defeated the Builders, 31-20, last season but Southwestern took home the 27-6 victory in 2014.
Bethany (0-5, 0-3) at (RV) Sterling (2-2, 1-2)
About Bethany: The Swedes suffered a heartbreaking 34-33 loss to the Spires of Saint Mary last weekend and will look for their first win this weekend against Sterling. Nathaniel Ocran, junior running back, led the ground assault for the Swedes with 102 yards rushing. Goodwin had two catches for 101 yards and one touchdown. Michael Wimberly put up 91 yards on eight catches and had two touchdowns. Handcox had 17 completions on 29 attempts and one interception. This would give him 278 passing yards and four touchdowns in the game.
James Augusta punted the ball three times for 74 yards, his longest being for 42 yards. On the defensive side of the ball Jau'marl Clark, freshman linebacker, had 12 total tackles on the day, one sack for a loss of six yards and two total tackles for loss for a total loss of seven yards. Chris Owens, junior defensive back, had 11 tackles to contribute. The Swedes had three sacks on the day, coming to a total of 16 yards lost.
The Swedes are led in rushing (53.4) by Ocran, Wimberly leads the team in receptions per game (5.0), Clark is Bethany's leader in tackles per game (9.4) and sacks per game (0.7). As a team, the Swedes rank 25th in the NAIA in opponent third down conversions (34.70), 34th in opponent fourth down conversions (40.00), and 36th in field goal percentage (0.600). Augusta ranks fifth nationally in total field goals (6) and eighth in field goals per game (1.20), while Wimberly ranks 26th in total receiving yards (416).
About Sterling: The Warriors dropped to 1-2 in conference play following a 45-42 loss to the Bluejays of Tabor last weekend. In a back-and-forth offensive battle, Sterling racked up 454 total yards on 61 plays in the loss.
Sterling's offense was led by Cedrick Phillips, who led all rushers with 213 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Phillips also threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns in the game. Nathan Frame and TJ Brown both had over 100 yards receiving on the night and finished with a total of 11 receptions between the two. Defensively, Kenya Edner led the Warriors with 13 tackles, while Dezmond Howard was second on the team with 12 tackles and a sack.
Sterling is led in rushing (105.5) and passing (261.3) by Phillips, who also leads the KCAC in passing. Brown is the Warriors' leader in receptions per game (9.0), Edner leads the team in tackles (12.8), and Howard is the team's leader in sacks (0.6). As a team, Sterling ranks sixth nationally in fourth down conversions (71.40), 12th in scoring offense per game (37.80), 13th in pass efficiency (152.20), and 18th in third down conversions (44.00). Brown leads the NAIA in all purpose yards per game (190.30) and receptions per game, fourth in receiving yards per game (123.80), and sixth in total receptions (36), while Phillips is third in total offensive yards per game (366.80), and 10th in total offense (1467).
History: Bethany leads the all-time series, 51-26-1, over Sterling. However, Sterling has come out on top the past four seasons, including a 37-34 victory in 2015, and a 42-39 win in 2014.
(14) Kansas Wesleyan (4-1, 2-1) at (RV) Friends (3-2, 2-1)
About Kansas Wesleyan: The Coyotes scored 21 points in the fourth quarter en route to a 49-25 victory over the McPherson Bulldogs last Saturday at McPherson Stadium.
The Coyotes racked up 249 yards rushing in the game led by LonDariusThomas with 10 carries for 86 yards and two scores. Demarco Prewitt added 19 carries for 72 yards and two scores and KCAC Offensive Player of the Week, Wesley Geisler had 13 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown. Geisler was 16-of-25 passing for 273 yards and two scores. Jacob Tatge had three catched for 90 yards and Kufahl had two grabs for 72 yards and a score.
Sam Pierce had 10 tackles for the Coyote defense that recorded four sacks on the day. Troy Ward tallied nine tackles, Brad Coombs added eight, while Jordan D'Errico and Christian McQueen recorded seven tackles apiece. Michael Guerrero had six tackles and an interception for Kansa Wesleyan.
Kansas Wesleyan is led in rushing (70.0) and receptions per game (4.2) by Prewitt, Geisler is the team's leader in passing (152.8), Pierce leads the Coyotes in tackles (6.8), and Kretien Webb leads the team in sacks per game (0.9). As a team, Kansas Wesleyan is seventh nationally in rushing offense per game (276.00), eighth in total rushing offense (1380), ninth in punt yards per attempt (41.10), 10th in sacks by (3.30) and third down conversions (47.30). Guerrero is seventh in the NAIA in total interceptions (3) and 10th in interceptions per game (0.6), while Webb is 10th in total tackles for loss (9.00), and 11th in total sacks (4.50).
About Friends: The Falcons defeated the Moundbuilders of Southwestern, 35-7, last weekend in Winfield. Friends outgained Southwestern by 326 yards on the ground (343-17) and 262 overall (411-149).
Jesse Rogers led the Falcons with 161 rushing yards on 23 carries with one touchdown. Rogers leads the KCAC and is No. 4 in the NAIA with a 134.5 yards per game average. Jacob Jenkins added 77 rushing yards on 11 carries and a touchdown, while Brennan Whitaker recorded 57 rushing yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns. Whitaker also went 8-for-15 through the air for 65 yards and two interceptions. Defensively, Josh Lewis had six total tackles and two pass break-ups to lead the Falcon defense. TC Hulett, Fredrick Cato, and Bertram Lawrence each had five tackles in the victory.
The Falcons are led in rushing (134.5) by Rogers, Whitaker is the team's leader in passing (157.5), Sam Camp leads the team in receptions per game (3.0), and John Buchanan leads Friends with 4.7 tackles per game. As a team, the Falcons rank eighth in the NAIA in rushing defense per game (91.30), ninth in opponent first downs (71), 11th in rushing offense per game (246.00), and 12th in first downs per game (24.80). Whitaker is sixth nationally in scoring touchdowns per game (10.5) and seventh in scoring per game (10.5), while Rogers is 10th in total rushing (538).
History: Friends leads 37-35-1 all-time against Kansas Wesleyan. The Coyotes defeated the Falcons, 27-10, last season, while Friends took home a 53-14 victory in 2014.