ATCHISON, Kan. -- The Culver-Stockton College football team's defense stood its ground long enough Saturday afternoon to make upsetting Benedictine seem possible before a myriad of offensive miscues washed away all hope.
Playing the second half without senior quarterback Korbin Marcum because of an injury, the Wildcats committed four turnovers, saw an interception get returned the length of the field for a touchdown and were off the field in five plays or less on five of the first six possessions of the half.
That's how a 6-3 halftime deficit turned into a 33-9 loss at O'Malley Field.
It is the 31st consecutive time Benedictine has beaten C-SC.
"We have to be able handle adversity a little bit better," C-SC coach Tom Sallay said. "It didn't go our way, and instead of overcoming things and figuring it out, we kind of started blaming everything else on why we weren't being successful. We have to be better than that.
"During a football season, not everything goes the way you have planned, just like in life. When stuff hits the fan a little bit, you have to make sure you're worrying about what you're supposed to do and quit worrying about everything else."
After a first half in which both teams squandered opportunities to score, the tide turned when the Wildcats lost 5 yards on their first possession of the third quarter and the Ravens took possession near midfield. Four plays was all Benedictine needed as Alex Blake caught a 23-yard touchdown pass for a 13-3 lead.
A fumble by Nathan Barnes recovered by the Ravens on the first play of the Wildcats' next drive spelled doom.
Benedictine put together a five-play, 40-yard drive with quarterback Luke Laskowski scoring on a 2-yard run for a 20-3 lead with 10:50 still to play in the third quarter.
The Ravens scored on the first play of the fourth quarter and cemented the victory when defensive back Keon Boulware intercepted a Trey Cloud pass in the end zone and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown and a 33-3 lead.
"We had opportunities," Sallay said. "I don't know if we weren't ready to take them or we weren't supposed to. We have to figure out how to take advantage of every opportunity we have because you don't always get them. When you're down there and ready to score, you have to take advantage of that.
"You can't throw a pick. You can't fumble it. You can't get a takeaway and fumble it back. We can't do that."
The Wildcats committed five turnovers overall, allowed seven sacks and scored only one touchdown on four trips inside the red zone.
Marcum's departure played a role. He completed 11 of 25 passes for 98 yards with one interception, but a leg injury suffered late in the first half kept him on the sideline in the second half.
"He might have been able to go in during the second half, but he was being a little too ginger on it for my liking," Sallay said.
Cloud, a freshman, completed 12 of 27 passes for 150 yards, while the offense finished with minus-4 yards rushing. Jordan Grant had 34 yards on 11 carries.