St. Thomas Aquinas defeats Northwestern 38-3
Akilah Laster | 9/5/2013, 9 a.m.
If social media is any indicator of popular opinion, the demand for a revamp in the Northwestern coaching staff will loom overhead for the Bulls for the remainder of the season unless head coach Stephen Fields can find a way to band-aid his team’s embarrassing 38-3 televised loss to nationally ranked St. Thomas Aquinas on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium.
We need to get this guy Stephen Fields the — out of here — one irate Northwestern alumni posted.
Now that NW is losing, you wanna say NW doesn’t have any talent, WHEN ITS OBVIOUS THAT IT’S THE COACHING!!!!! posted another alumni and former player for the Bulls.
St. Thomas Aquinas ranked ninth by USA Today seemed unfazed by the Bulls’ historical precedence or the fact that second year head coach Fields restored some dignity to the program last season.
And though the Raiders started the game with a prayer, they were anything but merciful when it came to trampling the Bulls. After Aquinas earned four touchdowns in a shutout first half it was evident that Northwestern did not have a chance.
“They’re very well coached and they never stop playing,” Fields said. “It’s going to be tough this year but we have to take it one day, one practice, and one game at a time.”
One of the biggest roadblocks for the Bulls came late in the second when senior quarterback Trevis McKinney was taken off in a stretcher after a face-mask injury delivered by Aquinas defensive end Anthony Moten. McKinney suffered a sprained neck and his return is uncertain according to Fields.
Senior quarterback/receiver Jabari Dowling stepped in, but threw a fumbled pass recovered by Aquinas linebacker Jake Stewart for a 35-yard touchdown going into halftime with the Raiders up 28-0.
The Bulls attempted to restore some confidence and spirit as J.T. Wilcox, esteemed local announcer, got on the speaker, but even his debonair wit could not staunch the Raiders continued onslaught.
“The players never laid down and quit and the sideline demeanor was positive,” Fields said. “We needed that one touchdown that would’ve gave us momentum.”
The Bulls passing game was squelched at 50-yards and though some strong runs late in the fourth led to five consecutive first-downs they finished with 90-yards for the game.
The Raiders were poised and balanced in their demolition of the Bulls, earning 223 rushing yards led by senior running back Mardre London, who finished with a game-high 113 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Even when Aquinas’ second (and maybe third) string entered the game they were still relentless; back-up junior quarterback Jake Rizzo got in on the pummeling with a 55-yard bomb to junior receiver Devante Peete to push the game into running clock territory.
“I love my team,” Fields said. “I’m a fighter and I will keep my head held high.”
The Bulls face a very lethal schedule and district with non-district opponents like Booker T. (October 12th at Traz) and following with their biggest district hurdle Central (October 18th at Traz). And with a seeming lack of support from the alumni and Bulls fans the Bulls’ season may end more embarrassingly than it began. Fields will have to work a miracle to regain the faith of his team and supporters; perhaps he should take a play from Aquinas and start the game with a prayer.