ST. LOUIS -- St. Ambrose's football team left its game Saturday battered.
Already without their starting cornerback, linebacker and center, the Fighting Bees also sustained injuries to their running back and quarterback in a 42-37 loss to Missouri Baptist at CBC Field.
"They whooped us today," head coach Mike Magistrelli said.
The Bees (2-2) started the game without cornerback Kobe Easley and linebacker Jimmy Morrissey, who were hurt in a loss to Saint Francis (Ind.) last week.
Then the team had to adjust to missing starting center Karl Fowler, who suffered an injury in Thursday's practice.
The Bees lost running back Baylee Hopps in the first quarter Saturday and also had quarterback Jake Romani sustain an injury, though Romani played through the injury.
"It was like a hip pointer to where he struggled to move around," Magistrelli said. "It really limited what we could do offensively, especially with them loading up at the line of scrimmage ... it was a long day."
St. Ambrose led 17-14 through the first quarter after a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jake Schramm.
But with the injuries disrupting the flow on offense, the Bees went scoreless in the second and third quarters, ultimately falling behind 35-17.
The Bees battled back in the fourth quarter and cut the lead to 35-30 with 9 minutes, 9 seconds left in the game. But the Bees allowed a 64-yard touchdown run to Kendell Davis with 2:50 left, a deficit that was too great to overcome despite Romani hitting Matt Marconi with a 15-yard touchdown pass in the final 90 seconds.
Davis finished the day with 200 yards on 24 carries and three touchdowns as the Spartans (1-3) put up 252 yards on the ground.
"It was just a sloppy day all around. We made a number of mistakes, some missed communication, some missed tackles, giving up big returns in the kicking game," Magistrelli said. "It wasn't one thing ... defensively they were able to run the ball on us really effectively."
Romani finished the day with 241 yards and three touchdowns passes while Bettendorf grad Justice O'Conner had a career-high 142 rushing yards on 14 carries.
"I thought Justice O'Conner played pretty well, ran the ball well," Magistrelli said. "Outside of that, it didn't look good live and I think we're going to watch the film and realize all the opportunities we missed on."