/seasons/2018/contrib/20181006xq3p32

SackMurray: Clutch D helps MacMurray win

More news about: MacMurray

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – They say timing is everything. Chris Blanchard proved it.

Through 238:63 minutes of football, the MacMurray College football team had not picked off a pass all season. With 1:37 on the clock and Westminster College threatening, Blanchard – a senior -- intercepted Trent White's pass near midfield to help the Highlanders seal a 19-14 win over the Blue Jays.

MacMurray stays perfect in conference play, improving to 3-1 overall, 3-0 in the UMAC. The Blue Jays drop their third straight, falling to 1-4, 1-3.

KEY STATS

Quarterback Nathan Randall was 11 of 26 for 277 yards and two touchdowns. With a talented arsenal of receivers, Randall completed four passes over 30 yards.

Javon Muhammad continued his dominant senior campaign on the defensive line, recording nine total tackles, 4.5 for loss. Muhammad added three pass breakups and two sacks.

Classmate CJ O'Rourke also tallied a team-high nine tackles. Corben Edwards contributed eight tackles, while Trenton Harrelson picked up two TFLs.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Randall and the Highlanders wasted no time, scoring on the second play from scrimmage. Randall hurled a pass to Nick Valentine for a 64-yard touchdown. Noah Sandoval's PAT was good, pushing the hosts ahead by seven after just 40 seconds.

A 9-play, 80-yard Highlander drive was capped off by a 24-yard field goal by Sandoval early in the second quarter. Mac broke into Blue Jay territory after a 58-yard catch-and-run by sophomore Derrick Derr.

After forcing a Blue Jay three-and-out, MacMurray was poised to extend their lead. In jeopardy of being sacked, Randall lobbed what appeared to be a miraculous touchdown completion. The score was whistled back for an ineligible man downfield, setting up another Sandoval field goal – this one from 21 yards.

Stepping up yet again, the Highlander defense worked to get their offense back on the field, forcing another Westminster three-and-out. On a 4th and 1 from the WC 46, Asa Donaldson exploded through the Blue Jay defense, keeping the MacMurray drive alive.

Three plays later, Randall connected with Demetrius Curry for a 40-yard touchdown reception. The score came on a critical 3rd and 22. A failed PAT gave the Highlanders a 19-0 lead at the half.

The Blue Jays scored on their first possession of the third quarter, cutting the Mac lead to 19-7. Holding MacMurray scoreless for the entire second half, Westminster shaved the home lead to single digits with just four minutes remaining.

A MacMurray three-and-out allowed the visitors to get the ball back, eventually setting up Blanchard's pick.

Despite a MacMurray turnover on the ensuing possession, the Highlander defense stepped up on the final Blue Jay possession with sacks by Muhammad and Harrelson. On WC's final desperation throw, Blanchard was able to knock the ball down and secure the victory.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

The Highlanders dominated the running game with 180 yards compared to WC's 88. Senior Marquez Ellison led Mac with 74 yards on the afternoon.

MacMurray was an efficient 3 of 4 on fourth downs. The visitors were a mere 1 for 5.

With 4.5 TFLs, Muhammad brings his season total to 15.5, averaging 3.9 TFLs/game.

Due to torrential thunderstorms in pregame, the start was delayed until 2 p.m.

QUOTES FROM THE COACH

"Every time we play Westminster, it's a dogfight," said head coach Chris Douglas. "Throw out the records, who's injured, it doesn't matter, it's an extremely tough game."

"I'm proud of our guys, they hung in there today against a really good team," said Douglas.

Douglas on the defense: "Westminster had all the momentum driving and Chris [Blanchard] did an awesome job to pick off that pass … The late plays we made defensively were huge, especially the sacks at the end and Blanchard's breakup."

UP NEXT

MacMurray visits Crown (0-6, 0-5) next weekend for another UMAC matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.

Sep. 13: All times Eastern
Final - OT
Coast Guard 24, at Nichols 23
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Western New England 56, at Westfield State 35
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at Massachusetts Maritime 31, SUNY-Maritime 14
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Becker 12, at Worcester State 10
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William Paterson 28, at FDU-Florham 23
Sep. 14: All times Eastern
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at Brockport 14, Framingham State 0
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at Lawrence Tech 34, Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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at Norwich 30, St. Lawrence 24
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Montclair State 28, at Salve Regina 11
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at Utica 26, Buffalo State 15
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at Springfield 21, Kean 14
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at St. John Fisher 35, Bridgewater State 28
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at Mass-Dartmouth 48, Husson 41
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Shenandoah 35, at N.C. Wesleyan 19
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at Endicott 28, Rochester 3
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Cortland 31, at TCNJ 7
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at Salisbury 24, UW-Oshkosh 19
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at Franklin Pierce 29, Curry 27
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at Georgetown 69, Catholic 0
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University of New England 35, at Alvernia 28
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Ferrum 55, at Greensboro 7
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Hamilton 37, at Bowdoin 24
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at Amherst 27, Bates 13
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Union 54, at Anna Maria 7
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at Plymouth State 48, Maine Maritime 6
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Wittenberg 36, at Hiram 12
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at Wesleyan 30, Colby 10
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at Wooster 17, Oberlin 0
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at Hanover 49, Adrian 28
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Guilford 19, at Methodist 14
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at Franklin and Marshall 54, Juniata 0
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Susquehanna 28, at Johns Hopkins 27
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Hobart 38, at Morrisville State 24
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at Lycoming 43, Widener 42
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Ripon 45, at Finlandia 12
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Washington and Jefferson 59, at Thiel 0
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at Westminster (Pa.) 45, Waynesburg 21
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Wesley 24, at Delaware Valley 18
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at Alfred 15, George Fox 14
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at Wilkes 30, Lebanon Valley 24
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McDaniel 13, at Moravian 10
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Muhlenberg 38, at Dickinson 9
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Ursinus 48, at Gettysburg 10
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at Washington and Lee 42, Sewanee 7
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UW-Whitewater 20, at Concordia-Moorhead 10
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Final
at St. Scholastica 41, Presentation 13
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Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 30, at Northwestern (Minn.) 7
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at Tufts 14, Trinity (Conn.) 8
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Ohio Northern 39, at Muskingum 10
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at Hope 80, Defiance 6
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Trine 35, at Bluffton 20
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at Heidelberg 35, Wilmington 10
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at Middlebury 17, Williams 13
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Linfield 35, at Rowan 14
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Baldwin Wallace 45, at Otterbein 28
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Ohio Wesleyan 42, at Kenyon 0
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at Fitchburg State 12, Castleton 10
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at Central 45, DePauw 19
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Millsaps 35, at Westminster (Mo.) 10
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Olivet 54, at Concordia-Chicago 24
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at UW-Stevens Point 31, Wabash 28
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Carleton 20, at Lawrence 10
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at Simpson 27, Chicago 23
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at Greenville 31, Kalamazoo 17
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Concordia (Wis.) 31, at Augsburg 0
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at Martin Luther 34, Rockford 20
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at Lake Forest 44, Grinnell 0
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Bethel 38, at UW-River Falls 20
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at St. Norbert 27, UW-Eau Claire 21
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Final
at Crown 23, Beloit 6
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Final
Aurora 48, at Elmhurst 22
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Howard Payne 56, at McMurry 37
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at UW-La Crosse 33, Illinois Wesleyan 27
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at Knox 44, Iowa Wesleyan 0
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at Nebraska Wesleyan 25, Illinois College 20
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Gustavus Adolphus 41, at UW-Stout 31
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at WPI 6, RPI 3
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St. Olaf 33, at Luther 20
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at La Verne 43, Willamette 33
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at Pomona-Pitzer 20, Lewis and Clark 0
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at Pacific Lutheran 17, Cal Lutheran 10
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Hartwick 30, at Alfred State 20
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at Western Connecticut 41, Dean 16
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Alma 35, at Manchester 7
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Final
Randolph-Macon 30, at Averett 27
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Final
Albion 48, at Franklin 26
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Final
at Berry 34, LaGrange 9
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Final
at Anderson 27, Cincinnati Christian 23
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Final - OT
Hampden-Sydney 27, at Christopher Newport 24
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Final
Carnegie Mellon 31, at Geneva 6
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Marietta 44, at Capital 7
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Bridgewater 37, at Stevenson 22
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at Centre 27, Maryville (Tenn.) 22
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at Grove City 26, Bethany 15
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Austin 27, at Southwestern Assemblies 26
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at Loras 42, Benedictine 14
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at Hardin-Simmons 16, Trinity (Texas) 10
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at Dubuque 37, Pacific 26
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at Buena Vista 27, Concordia (Neb.) 24
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at Birmingham-Southern 45, Huntingdon 13
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at Eureka 41, MacMurray 24
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Hendrix 26, at Texas Lutheran 23
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 56, Albright 15
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Valley City State 67, at Minnesota-Morris 7
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at Wartburg 38, Monmouth 9
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Rose-Hulman 30, at Rhodes 0
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Hamline 31, at Macalester 27
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Louisiana College 20, at Belhaven 14
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at Texas A&M-Kingsville 72, Sul Ross State 0
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at Redlands 58, Puget Sound 7
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Sep. 15: All times Eastern
Final
at Coe 38, Cornell 0
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Sep. 19: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Manchester at Defiance
@ Defiance High School
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Sep. 5: All times Eastern
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Johns Hopkins 17, at Randolph-Macon 12
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Sep. 6: All times Eastern
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Delaware Valley 37, at Kean 7
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Sep. 7: All times Eastern
Final
at RPI 52, Allegheny 14
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North Central (Ill.) 43, at Christopher Newport 13
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Final
Wesley 69, at Franklin Pierce 0
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Final
at Muhlenberg 45, TCNJ 26
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Ithaca 66, at St. Vincent 28
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at Washington and Jefferson 16, Wittenberg 8
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Final
at John Carroll 21, UW-Stevens Point 7
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Final
Centre 45, at Hanover 31
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Final
Berry 31, at Maryville (Tenn.) 10
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Final
at Bethel 42, Simpson 10
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Wheaton (Ill.) 38, at Monmouth 0
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St. John's 14, at UW-Stout 7
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Final - OT
at UW-La Crosse 21, Concordia-Moorhead 14
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Final
Whitworth 50, at La Verne 24
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Final
at St. Thomas 69, Trinity International 3
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Final
at UW-Whitewater 42, Dubuque 7
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Final
Mount Union 66, at Rose-Hulman 14
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 64, at Sul Ross State 0
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