The Sterling College football program has not won its season opener since the 2016 season. In that game four years ago, Sterling defeated Northwestern College 28-21.
Last year’s opener against new opponent Avila University ended in a last-second loss. With 4.5 seconds left on the clock, Sterling’s pass was thrown through the end zone. Avila defeated the Warriors 38-34 in their fourth quarter comeback.
“The Avila game last year was a huge flop on our part, and I believe is the reason to our record for last year,” junior Janson Robeson said. “Opening the season to Avila again this year, I believe the players and coaches knew it was more than just payback.”
This season, the Warriors overcame Avila University 34-21. The following weekend brought another victory for the Warriors as they traveled to McPherson College and came away with a 29-19 win.
Game three brought Ottawa University back to Sterling. Last seen celebrating their win against Sterling in 2018 on Homecoming, the Braves returned to play the Warriors on Warrior Fest weekend. Sterling got ahead early, outscoring Ottawa 17-7 in the first half, eventually winning 37-29.
“This [win] meant more because I was unable to finish the game last year,” senior Nick McGrew said, “and it was nice to beat them at home under similar circumstances. It gives us great momentum.”
The final Saturday of the month took Sterling to North Newton to play Bethel College. The Warriors got ahead early, but Bethel came out on top, winning 31-26 and handing Sterling their first loss of the season.
“The recent lost against Bethel was simple: us shooting ourselves in the foot,” Robeson said. “We know our mistakes and will get back in the books and scripts and get ready.”
Sterling will host Friends University Saturday for Homecoming and their only home game in October.