OLATHE, Kan. - MidAmerica Nazarene senior QB Sean Ransburg threw for a career-high five touchdowns to lead the 11th-ranked Pioneers to a 49-20 win over No. 13-ranked Baker on Saturday evening in the Heart of America Athletic Conference Game of the Week. Box Score | Postgame Quotes
Ransburg bested his career high of four touchdown passes achieved three times with the last coming Oct. 22, 2011 against Benedictine. He completed 18-of-21 passes while also carrying 11 times for 59 yards. Ransburg led the MNU offense to 42 points in just over 30 minutes as the Pioneers scored on the opening possession of the half before Trent Hedlund came in to play the majority of the half.
Baker (4-2, 3-2 HAAC) scored on its second possession of the game after each team had punted following its opening offensive series. Jake Morse found Jake Green open down the left side to complete a 48-yard scoring play at the 10:32 mark. That would be the high point of the half for the Wildcats as the Pioneers answered quickly and often for the remainder of the half.
Ransburg led MNU (3-1, 3-1 HAAC) on a 12-play, 65-yard drive on the ensuing drive and connected with LaDon Hudson on a six-yard fade pattern into the corner of the end zone. A failed punt attempt for the second-straight week stung the Wildcats as Bryan Williams was forced to tuck the ball for a 3-yard loss with Matt Cobb bearing down on the kick attempt, giving the Pioneers the ball deep in Baker territory.
This time, it took Ransburg just three plays to record his second scoring throw of the game. Following a pass interference penalty and one-yard loss, Ransburg found Branden Phillips from 13 yards out. The Pioneers' signal-caller would throw touchdown passes on four-straight possessions with Phillips on the receiving end from two yards before Greg Gates and Austin Conyers got in on the action.
The scoring picked up almost immediately after halftime as Gates raced 64 yards on the second play of the quarter to give MNU a 42-7 lead. Gates finished the game with a career-high 167 yards on 20 carries for a fourth-straight 100-yard output this season. The Pioneers finished with 227 yards on the ground and 490 total yards for the game while limiting the Wildcats to 144 total yards and running 30 more offensive plays (78-48).
Jake Morse was 9-of-16 for 83 yards and two touchdowns for Baker while Jake Green led the receiving corps with four receptions for 94 yards. Conyers led the MNU receivers with five receptions for 72 yards in his first game of the season while Phillips also had five grabs for 49 yards.
MNU travels to Culver-Stockton next week while Baker returns home to take on Avila before the Wildcats have a two-week break.
Week Six Recaps
#4 Missouri Valley 47, Culver-Stockton 7
MARSHALL, Mo. - League-leading Missouri Valley scored a pair of touchdowns on special teams and got two touchdown passes from Taylor Beasley to lead the way to a 47-7 victory over Culver-Stockton at Gregg-Mitchell Field. Tyler Davis returned a punt 65 yards for the opening touchdown of the game before Rahfee McClee blocked a punt and Andrew Huhman scooped up the loose ball for a three-yard return for a touchdown. Beasley connected with Alex Benson and Mikquel Johnson on TD passes while Keith O'Neal and LaNorris Dukes scored on the ground with runs of 72 and 2 yards, respectively. Culver-Stockton (0-5, 0-5 HAAC) finished the game on a positive note, driving 88 yards over 17 plays before Curtis Widener hit Nick Hill on a 7-yard completion. Widener led three C-SC quarterbacks with 9-of-18 passes for 71 yards while Beasley completed 14-of-21 for 190 yards. The Vikings limited the Wildcats to 11 yards rushing on 33 carries and 167 yards overall.
Graceland 28, Peru State 20
PERU, Neb. - Visiting Graceland used a pair of 14-point quarters to pick up a 28-20 victory over Peru State on Saturday afternoon at the Oak Bowl. Marcus Griffin carried 22 times for 133 yards and a touchdown as the Yellowjackets (3-2, 2-1 HAAC) scored the opening touchdown of the game and never trailed. Matt Fink connected with Raysean Brown on a 49-yard scoring pass in the second quarter to give Graceland a 28-13 lead at the intermission and the Yellowjackets made the lead hold up despite not scoring again. Fink was just 6-of-15 but the Yellowjackets ran for 233 yards and forced three turnovers despite being outgained 367-355 for the game. Ryan Ludlow led Peru State (2-3, 1-3 HAAC) with 147 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns while Bo Shepard ran for 99 yards and a touchdown while completing 4-of-17 passes for 80 yards. Billy Wendt had 14 tackles to lead all defensive players for Graceland while Dorian Smith had 10 tackles and an interception with 40 seconds remaining to seal the win.
Evangel 54, #6 Benedictine 44
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Senior RB Tommy Meyer ran for 184 yards and four touchdowns including the go-ahead scoring run with 1:54 remaining to cap a thrilling 54-44 victory for Evangel over 6th-ranked Benedictine at JFK Stadium. Meyer helped cap a 11-play, 81-yard drive with a 3-yard plunge after Benedictine had taken the lead at the 6:06 mark on a 2-yard pass from Bill Noonan to Emmanuel Ossai. Both piled up over 600 yards of total offense and rushed for over 200 yards. Evangel junior QB Andrew Brimhall 17-of-32 for 324 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions while Bill Noonan was 21-of-35 for 357 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions. Jesse Vaughn had another impressive outing for Evangel (3-2, 2-1 HAAC), catching nine passes for 211 yards and a touchdown, a 51-yard scoring play with 34 seconds left to ice the victory. Geoff Akpom led the Benedictine receiving corps with five catches for 144 yards and a touchdown while Jordan Jackson had six catches for 103 yards.
Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) 23, Central Methodist 20
BELLEVILLE, Ill. - A 53-yard field goal attempt by Ezequiel Rivera missed the mark with 2:01 remaining to allow Lindenwood-Belleville to hold off Central Methodist, 23-20, at Lindenwood Stadium. Cleave Perryman scored on a 1-yard run with 4:18 left to bring the Eagles (2-3) within three points before the CMU defense was able to force a punt and give the offense a chance to tie or win the game. A short punt gave the Eagles excellent field position at the LU-Belleville 40, but the Eagles were unable to get a first down and a false start penalty pushed Rivera five yards further out. Burton Iosefa carried 19 times for 166 yards and a touchdown while Skyler Jameson rushed seven times for 53 yards and completed 4-of-11 for 42 yards. Matthew Marler was 12-of-29 for 200 yards and two TDs for the Lynx (3-2) while Kameron Harris rushed 22 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles ran for 284 yards and did not turn the ball over, but allowed 393 total yards and ran 18 fewer offensive plays.
Avila 35, Bethany (Kan.) 19
LINSBORG, Kan. - Avila piled up a season-high 583 total yards and scored 28-unanswered points to battle back from a 19-7 deficit to pick up its first win of the season, 35-19, over Bethany. Harley Kreisman carried 14 times for 137 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles (1-4) ran for 357 yards while averaging 7.4 yards per attempt. Jacob Hicks converted 23-of-35 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions while also running for 68 yards on nine totes. Avila trailed 19-7 late in the second quarter before Hicks hit Colton Bourland from five yards out with four seconds left in the half. The Eagles outscored the Swedes, 21-0, after intermission and finished the game 7-of-10 on third downs to combat five turnovers. Tevis Linnebur led Bethany (2-3) with 24 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown while Darby House was 18-of-39 for 214 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.