Weekend Bear Sports

Senior Gabe Murphy ran for a career-high 128 yards and sophomore Tim Machan tied a school record with three interceptions as the Washington University football team posted a 34-3 win at Westminster College on Saturday afternoon before 1,200 fans in Fulton, Mo.

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“The guys played really hard today and made some big plays, both offensively and defensively,” said Washington University head coach Larry Kindbom. “We saw the running game was working well early on, so we kept going with it.”

The Bears kept the ball on the ground almost the entire first quarter running for 133 yards on 17 carries. Murphy carried the ball for 52 yards on the opening drive, including a nine-yard scamper with 11:26 left to give Washington U. the 6-0 lead.

Murphy picked up 59 yards on the ground in the Bears’ next scoring drive. He gained 31 yards down to Westminster’s five-yard line, and then sophomore Matt Glenn scored on the next play to push the lead to 14-3 with 3.6 seconds left.

Machan’s second interception of the game set up a score with under a minute left before halftime. Junior Buck Smith the reigning University Athletic Association (UAA) Offensive Athlete of the Week, connected with senior Michael Casper on a 24-yard strike to make it 20-3 at half.

Washington U. totaled 208 yard of total offense in the first half, including 155 yards on the ground. Murphy picked up 122 yards on 12 carries, while Glenn added five carries for 29 yards. The Bears’ defense allowed 103 yards in the first half, and limited the Bluejays to 24 yards on the ground.

After the Bears’ defense forced a punt on Westminster’s first possession of the third quarter, freshman Jim O’Brien scampered 63 yards on the fifth play of the drive to make it 27-3. Early in the fourth, Smith connected with freshman Tom Gulyas for a 55-yard touchdown pass for the final score of the game.

“That felt great today because it’s been a long road the past four years,” Murphy said. “We came out firing on all cylinders today, and that was awesome. The offensive line did a great job blocking for me.”

Washington U. had a 370-197 advantage in total offense over Westminster, while picking up 233 yards on 37 carries. Smith, who was making his second career start, finished 9-of-17 for 127 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears defense, which held Lake Forest to 17 yards rushing a week ago, limited the Bluejays rushing attack to 41 yards on 30 carries in the win.

Junior Tommy Bawden added a career-best two interceptions, as WU recorded five picks in the game. Senior Tyler McSparin also had a team-high eight tackles.

Washington University (2-0) returns to action Saturday, Sept. 15 at home against No. 10 Wheaton College. Kickoff is set for Noon at Francis Field.