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Football - Wed, Sep. 25, 2013

The Falcons football team bounced back nicely from their first loss of the season with a 31-0 domination of Sterling College. The team now turns its attention to Southwestern College, who will come to Adair-Austin Stadium this Saturday for a 7pm KCAC matchup.

The Moundbuilders come in with an identical 2-1 record as Friends, having beat Oklahoma Baptist and Kansas Wesleyan, and falling to nationally ranked Peru State. Southwestern outscored KWU 14-0 in the 2nd half to win their KCAC opener 24-14, after trailing 14-10 at the half.

Southwestern will counter the Falcons pass offense (ranked 28th in the nation at 239yd/game) with their 18th ranked pass defense (108yd/game). The Moundbuilders have two of the top defensive backs in the country, as Lorenzo Fouts comes into the game with 4 interceptions and Kaman Holt has 3 of his own. Falcon head coach Monty Lewis knows how pivotal quarterback Aaron Hansen (Andover, KS) will be. "He's got to be able to build on the performance. If he can continue to do that, we'll be in good shape. I think he controlled the game exceedingly well (at Sterling)" Lewis says. "We threw it and threw it well, and took the pressure off the running attack. We're still going to run the football. If Aaron and our receiving core can get that chemistry going, that's really key for us – instead of having to throw, choosing to throw."

 

Special teams will likely play a role in the outcome as well. "It's a lot like last week," says Lewis, "we're running into a team that has some weapons in that area. We answered the bell there (at Sterling) and we have to answer it again Saturday. Southwestern has Chris Mayer, who ranks 6th in the nation in kicker scoring, while Friends seems to have found a consistent kicker themselves in Ky Nixon (Hutchinson, KS) who is 2/3 in field goal attempts and 4/4 on extra points. The Moundbuilder's Dalton Swindale is 10th in the country in punt return yardage at 13.8 yards per return and Falcon Carlos Cox (Newark, NJ) comes in 30th in the nation at 8.0 yards per return.

 

Southwestern should make for a good test for the Falcon's defense, which ranks 7th in the nation in total defense, only allowing 257 yards per game. Southwestern's offense checks in at 27th nationally, averaging 421 yards a contest. Coach Lewis says it comes down to the basics. "It's the intensity factor. Defense comes down to alignment, assignment, execution – but 95%-99% of defense is alignment. You gotta get lined up correctly, and that allows you to play downhill. We're going to have to be ready for both. They're not just a pass-only or run-only, they try to be pretty balanced." The Moundbuilders average 203 yards rushing and 218 yards through the air per game.

 

The game is part of the American Football Coaches Association's Coach to Cure MD. In its sixth year, Coach to Cure MD seeks to raise awareness and money to fund research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most prolific lethal genetic disorder of childhood. Coach Lewis will be wearing a patch to show his support for the effort.

Fans can show their support for Coach to Cure MD by going to their website (www.CoachToCureMD.org), or by texting the word "CURE" to 90999 to donate $5.

Notes:

  • The Falcons win against Sterling gave Lewis 71 as the head coach at Friends, passing Dr. J.Q. Banbury for 1st all-time in school history. Lewis is also 2nd in KCAC history with 131 wins including his time spent at Southwestern. Dr. Ted Kissinger is #1 with 219 victories at Bethany between 1973-2003.
  • Friends is just outside the national rankings, coming in 27th, needing only 6 points to break the top-25
  • Junior Joshua Hicks (Wichita, KS) is 19th in the nation in tackles for a loss
  • A key to the Falcons successful passing game has been pass blocking – Friends has only allowed 3 sack on the season, 8th fewest in the country. Southwestern has gotten 7 sacks in their 3 games to rank 24th
  • The Falcons rank in the top 15 in the nation in 7 defensive categories as a team, including opponent's 1st downs, scoring defense, and total yardage defense