>> by Ray Fink
OBU Sports Information Director
SHAWNEE—Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) picked off five passes, and Nyko Symonds caught two touchdown passes as the Bison rolled past Wayland Baptist University (WBU), 37-10 in the first meeting of the Central State Football League’s Baptist schools, Sat. Oct. 19.
“Most importantly it was a conference win,” said OBU Coach Chris Jensen. “Was it the best we can play? Probably not.”
D’Ante Meeking had two of OBU’s interceptions in his first game back after a concussion. “It was hard sitting out, but we did a good job today putting two halves together,” Meeking said.
The Bison defense broke open a scoreless tie with 3:39 left in the first quarter when Eugene Estes picked off a pass and raced 33 yards for a touchdown. Austin Manger added the first of his four extra points for a 7-0 lead.
OBU went up 14-0 in the second quarter when Jordan Barnes capped an 11-play, 60-yard drive with a one-yard plunge into the end zone. Clint Wilson got an interception to set up another Bison score—a 25-yard touchdown pass from Cale Grauer to Symonds.
“Both our quarterbacks played well today, and they are seeing the receivers well,” Symonds said.
Grauer was 5 of 8 for 107 yards and two touchdowns while Blake Woodard was 6 for 13 for 77 yards. Neither OBU QB threw an interception. Symonds led the team with five catches for 129 yards.
The Pioneers got their lone touchdown in the second quarter on a six yard run by Kendall Roberson. Roberson entered as the No. 10 rusher in the NAIA and finished with 136 yards on 21 carries.
Wayland converted a two-point pass to cut the OBU lead to 21-8 and that score stood until the third quarter. OBU got the answer when Grauer tossed a screen to Symonds, who wove through the defense for 45 yards and a 27-8 Bison lead.
The defense came up with a goal-line stand with big stops by Nelson Mederios on second down, a two-yard tackle for loss by Ed Morgan Jr. on third down and a stop just short of the goal line by Brynden Pitxer and Kimes Gilbert on fourth down.
WBU got on the board a play later when a snap slid through Grauer’s hands and out of the end zone for a 27-10 score.
Manger tacked on a 22-yard field goal for a 30-10 lead.
Meeking’s second interception set up the Bison at the WBU five and Chase Kreutzer scored from there for the final margin. Barnes led the Bison with 66 yards on 20 carries.
Pitzer had 13 tackles in the game, including four for loss and a sack. Gilbert had three sack among his five tackles for loss and 11 tackles on the day to go with a forced fumble.
Meeking and Wilson had two interceptions each to go along with Estes’ score. Wilson also forced a fumble.