FULTON, Mo. - Westminster football fell 35-10 to nonconference opponent Millsaps in the team's home opener.
The Blue Jays fall to 0-2 on the year in nonconference match-ups, with the rest of the year strictly reserved for Upper Midwest Athletic Conference play.
"That's a good football team we played today, and I'm proud that we were able to hold our own," said Westminster Head Coach John Welty. "We started the game better than we have in the past, but we shot ourselves in the foot a few times."
In the opening kickoff, the Majors fumbled the ball which was recovered by Corey Kroll, giving Westminster immediate possession and favorable field position at their own 26 yardline.
After gaining the first down, the Majors made up for their opening fumble with a strong defensive stop with a Blue Jay fourth and one, taking possession back at their own 11.
On the next Blue Jay drive, Westminster got on the board first with a field goal from Brad Hammel on a drive that lasted nine plays and three minutes, 23 seconds. The drive included a long pass completion from Wyatt Ellis to Cornell Young for 14 yards, followed by another connection from Wyatt and Young for four yards to give Hammel the spot for his field goal.
Westminster followed up the field goal with an interception on the next play by Easton Hanks at Westminster's one yardline, the freshman's second interception in as many games.
Despite the Millsaps mistake, the Majors made up for it in the next play, forcing a rush from Kalyn Davis back in Westminster's own endzone for a safety, making the score 3-2 with 3:22 left to play in the quarter.
The next drive from the Majors resulted in a touchdown, the first of the game for either team, but the Blue Jays were able to stop the Millsaps attempt at a two-point conversion.
The second quarter was dominated by the Majors, scoring three times in three drives to make the score at halftime 28-3.
The Majors picked up where they left off, scoring on their opening drive of the third quarter to make the score 35-3. The Blue Jay defense from this point on would shut down the Majors for the remainder of the game.
After the rest of the third quarter went by scoreless, Westminster opened the fourth quarter with a scoring drive. After two 15-yard penalites charged to Millsaps for pass interference and a personal foul, Westminster found themselves on the Millsaps 21 yardline. Ellis completed a seven yard pass to Travion Mosby, followed by a rush from DeQuintin Smith for a three yard gain. Ellis then completed an 11 yard pass to Mosby, who made a diving catch over his shoulder and managed to get a foot down in the endzone before being forced out. The touchdown is Mosby's third this season. After the Hammel kick, Westminster pulled to 35-10, which would be the final score.
Ellis went 15-26 passing for 89 yards and one touchdown. Mosby and Young led the receivers with 51 and 30 yards, respectively, while Beau Thompson led the defense with eight tackles. De'Monn Martin finished the day with two pass breakups.
"Both of those teams we played to open the season would be at the top of our conference," said Welty. "Playing against competition like that helps us prepare for conference play, and it helps our newcomers adjust to the pace of college football. We got better in the first few weeks, especially our new guys. I have no doubt we'll continue to get better and compete in the conference."
The Blue Jays begin UMAC play on the road next Saturday, Sept. 21, at Iowa Wesleyan. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.