Hawks surge back in second half to topple Bearcats

Quincy Hawks Players lining up in front of each other before their team runs out on the field. They look very determined before kickoff.

The Quincy University football team had a historic day on Oct. 15, which became a day where the Hawks defeated conference rivals the McKendree University Bearcats by a score of 63-62. In a tale of two halves, these teams had no love for each other in a game that came to the last play. 

Quincy had not defeated McKendree since 2012, and looked to bring this momentum into the last few games of the season. The game did not start in the Hawks’ favor who saw themselves quickly down 14-0 within five minutes of the opening kick off. 

Once players shook off the rust, Tionne Harris helped QU get on the board with passing touchdowns to AJ Hardin and Paul Sullivan, making it a 21-14 game with Bearcats leading. 

QU wide receiver is pictured by himself lines up on line of scrimmage. He is looking back towards the QB to see when the snap will come.
Angel Ruiz, pictured, lined up waiting for the QB’s snap.

The scoring onslaught from both teams in the second quarter created a larger gap for the Hawks, and heading into halftime down 49-28. Many players on the Hawks still had faith they could turn it around. QU wide receiver, Angel Ruiz, was trying to show that belief for his teammates. 

“I was feeling like we were still in this game, never did I lose hope that we could win this game so I told the guys what we needed to do. A quick score can easily change momentum,” Ruiz said.

And they came back out hungry.

Quincy Linebacker is in his stance to read the defense and try and make a play.
Peyton Chappel, center, getting in his stance preparing for the next play against UIndy.

Quincy started back out hot with a quick touchdown run from junior, Tremayne Lee, on a 11-play drive proving their offensive patience. And shortly after, Peyton Chappel changed the tide by scooping up a fumble for a 68 yard touchdown for the defense closing the gap to 49-42. Chappel has consistently shown in big moments this season how important he is for the Hawks defense.

With only a minute left in the third, Quincy tied the game at 49-49 off another touchdown from Lee. Creating a wild atmosphere for the fans in Lebanon and teammates cheering back at home like Matt Ludwig. 

“We weren’t expecting a surge from our team like that so fast in the third, but once we saw Chappel’s touchdown we knew hey maybe we got a shot at this. So all of us freshmen were crazy watching the stream by the end,” Ludwig said. 

Quincy gave the first punch in the fourth quarter thanks to Harris’ third passing touchdown of the day to Jalen Lawrence, making a 56-49 lead. McKendree took a methodical 11-play drive down the field to tie it back up with under four minutes to play. 

The two teams stayed deadlocked and were forced into overtime. Quincy took the field for offense first, scoring first on a 12-play drive. McKendree came back with a score of their own, but didn’t want to share the lead anymore. McKendree went for it all on a two point conversion, but was stopped short on the one yard line. 

The team was not only hyped for the comeback but also for getting a win against the Bearcats since last decade. Many players really soaked in the moment.

“To have a win like that was huge because it was revenge from last year, which was another high scoring battle, and we’ve gained so much confidence from the experience,” Ruiz said.

The Hawks will look to keep that confidence building on Oct. 29 at home against Truman State University.

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