FULTON, Mo. - Westminster football, playing on the new turf field made possible by a donation from Kent and Judy Mueller, defeated Iowa Wesleyan 35-10.
The team and Westminster President Fletcher Lamkin honored Kent and Judy prior to the game with a message from Kent, who was unable to attend.
"Today is just the first of many great days ahead as the beautiful new stadium rises to provide our athletic teams and the Blue Jay Nation with the finest of facilities," said Lamkin on behalf of Mueller.
With the win, Westminster moves to 1-1 on the year and 1-0 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.
"This was a great day for me personally as well as our players," said Westminster Head Coach John Welty. "I'm so happy with how it turned out for Kent and Judy. It was a great win on our new home field."
The Blue Jays started the first quarter off strong, exploding offensively for three touchdowns.
After receiving the kickoff, Westminster rushed for seven straight plays from Ketrick Large, Kalyn Davis, and Trent White, who ultimately ran for six yards to score the first six points of the season for the Blue Jays.
After forcing the Tigers to punt, Westminster scored on their second drive of the game on just three plays, finishing with a 57-yard pass completion from White to Matt Quarles.
Anthony Washington caught his first interception of the game to give the ball back to the Blue Jays, allowing the offense to score the third touchdown of the quarter on another White rush, finishing the quarter 21-0.
The Blue Jay defense shut out the Tigers again in the second quarter, but the Westminster offense slowed as well, making the score 21-0 at the half.
Iowa Wesleyan was the only team to score in the third quarter, connecting on a field goal after the Westminster defense stopped the Tigers from scoring in the red zone.
Westminster was hot again in the fourth quarter, adding two more touchdowns. The first was thanks to a fumble recovery and return from Robert Weirich, who ran the ball 22 yards to put Westminster within five yards of a touchdown. White completed the play for the offense, adding his second rushing touchdown of the day to go up 28-3.
The Tigers scored their first and only touchdown of the day on the next drive, scoring a 65-yard touchdown.
Westminster answered with yet another touchdown on eight plays, the longest scoring drive for the Blue Jays in the game. Davis finished it off for the Blue Jays with the help of his entire offensive line, pushing him in the endzone to end the game on a high note for the entire offense.
"Kalyn is a load, and we saw some bright spots of that last week," said Welty. "Coming into this week, I thought it would be a good matchup for us. I wasn't surprised when we got that final push to put the nail in the coffin."
Anthony Washington ended the game strong for the defense, forcing a fumble and grabbing his second interception of the game on the final two drives for Iowa Wesleyan.
"Defense held us in the game today," said Welty. "Everytime Iowa Wesleyan had an advantage, the defense stepped up to hold them."
The Blue Jays made a statement with their rushing yards, overwhelming the Tigers 225-119. White led the way with 106 yards rushing with Davis close being with 104, including an average of 6.9 yards per carry.
White threw for 86 yards, on 7-15 passing. Quarles caught three passes for 61 yards.
Defensively, Dakota Jakoubek led the way with seven tackles, including 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
Westminster travels to St. Scholastica next weekend for a 12 p.m. UMAC matchup.
"There's something about this team that makes me think next weekend will be a good matchup for us," said Welty.