FULTON, Mo. - Westminster football earned a dominating victory over Minnesota-Morris 23-7 for its first win of the season.
The Blue Jays improve to 1-1 on the season and 1-0 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.
"We were tested on both sides of the ball," said Head Coach John Welty. "We played great on defense and offense and it got us back in the right state of mind. It was a good win and I'm happy for our players. Offense and defense each held their own and provided us a win. It was a great game to our coaches as well, so I give credit to them."
The Blue Jays started the scoring with a field goal from Brad Hammel after a 10-minute drive from Westminster.
A 57-yard rush from the Cougars opened up the scoring in the second half to put Minnesota-Morris up 7-3 early in the second quarter.
The Blue Jays started a drive with just over two minutes left in the half. The drive started with a 16-yard punt return from Matt Quarles followed by a 13-yard completion to Kidd Sutherlin to move the ball to the Minnesota-Morris 41. Trent White then kept the ball and rushed for 36 yards to the one yard line, where Chase Abbington punched in the touchdown to give Westminster the 9-3 lead going into the half.
"Last year, we played a bad game against Minnesota-Morris and we had a sour taste in our mouth since that game last year," said Welty.
Westminster struck again with their final drive of the third quarter. After short gains from White and Abbington, White completed a short pass to Quarles who ran for 61 yards to add his first touchdown of the day and put the Blue Jay lead at 15-7 after three quarters.
Within the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, Quarles once again put on a show to score his second touchdown of the game. After a 38-yard punt to Westminster's own 25, Quarles returned the punt for 75 yards to make the score 21-7 and give Westminster a decisive lead.
Chase Abbington added a two-point conversion for the last score of the game, making the final score 23-7.
White tallied 140 passing yards, going 13-27. He added 40 rushing yards. Abbington led the way in rushing yards with 92 while Quarles added 82 receiving yards along with his special teams touchdown and 91 yards on punt returns.
Westminster goes back on the road next Saturday, Sept. 16, against St. Scholastica.
"Starting in conference play to go 1-0 puts us right where we want," said Head Coach John Welty. "We have a long road ahead, so this win was important. It puts us in a better frame of mind to go back-to-back on the road."