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Struggles in 4th Quarter Lead to Warrior Loss


STERLING, Kan. ( – Sterling College hosted Friends University on Saturday night in Smisor Stadium. The final score was not indicative of the majority of the game. A strong fourth quarter for the Falcons and some untimely mistakes for the Warriors turned the game into a 55-17 loss for Sterling.


Things started well for the Warriors as Sterling’s top returner, Trey Dixon, took the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. The score is Dixon’s second kickoff return touchdown this season. Sterling held the early 7-0 lead, but it did not last long. Friends scored 21 unanswered points and took a 21-7 lead into halftime.

Things looked promising for the Warriors as ElyJay Curry broke out for a 71-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, his first score of the season. The touchdown made it a one-score game at 21-14. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Luis Franco made a 29 yard field goal to make it 17-21.

In the fourth quarter, Friends had the ball five times and they scored touchdowns on all five possessions, closing the door on a Warrior comeback. In contrast, Sterling’s five possessions in the final frame ended with two punts, two interceptions and a turnover on downs. Sterling played three good quarters, but the Falcons were able to capitalize when the Warriors gave them an opportunity.

The Warriors rushed for 210 yards, their highest rushing total to date, and passed for 110. Curry led the ground game for the Warriors with 94 yards and a touchdown, and T.C. Smith behind him with 72 yards. Cameron Williams was the leading receiver with 58 yards on two catches.

Franco continues to be a reliable leg and had a perfect game going 1/1 on field goals and 2/2 on extra points.

Fisher Pullen got his first interception on the season in the first quarter.  Hunter Pullen and Diego Moran both led the Warrior defense with 11 total tackles on the night. Two of Hunter Pullen‘s tackles resulted in 19-yards lost. Fisher Pullen and Moran each forced a fumble.

The KCAC has a bye this week for the whole conference. Play will pick up once again next week as the first half of the season comes to a close. All non-division games have now been played and the in division games will start when teams return from the bye. The divisions are new for the KCAC, and it gives teams the opportunity to look past a rough first half of the season and still have a chance to make the NAIA playoffs if they take care of business in the final five games. Although 1-5 this season, if Sterling wins the Bissell Division over the next five games, they will still make the playoff. Even though it has been a rough start, the season starts new in two weeks with the Homecoming football game.

Sterling hosts Tabor College at Smisor Stadium on the 16th of October for Homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 pm with activities going on all day for Sterling College alumni all around campus. There will be the crowning of royalty at halftime of the football game as well.

Be sure to check for news and updates on Sterling Warrior Athletics on Facebook (/SCWarriors), Twitter (@SterlingCSports), and Instagram (sterlingcsports), as well as the hashtag #SwordsUp. Watch all of the Warriors’ live home events on the Sterling College Sports Network.