Heading into its conference opener at Friends University, the University of Saint Mary football team knew it had a tough task ahead.
However, that challenge became even more difficult when the Spires’ high-octane offense sputtered in the second half on Saturday. USM was shutout in quarters three and four, and after trailing 22-14 at half, the Spires lost 36-14.
The loss dropped Saint Mary to 0-2 on the season, 0-1 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The game started off in favor of the home team when Friends scored first in the opening quarter. USM answered with a TD of its own, but a Spires fumble later in the period set up another Falcons strike. Each team tacked on a TD in the second quarter, putting USM down eight at the break.
That is when things shutdown offensively for Saint Mary. Over the next 30 minutes of regulation, the Spires failed to muster another TD or field goal while its hosts posted two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
By game’s end, USM was out-gained 476 yards to 294, mostly on the ground as Friends accumulated 272 yards to the Spires’ two.
The Spires committed four turnovers on the day and went 5-for-13 on third down conversions, all of which hampered a usually high-scoring attack.
Saint Mary will travel for the third straight week on Saturday to Ottawa for a 6 p.m. contest.