Samford 25, Western Carolina 21
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Samford football team scored 15 fourth-quarter points to overcome an 11-point deficit on its way to a 25-21 Southern Conference win at Western Carolina Saturday afternoon at E.J. Whitmire Stadium.
Through the first four games of the season, Samford has outscored its opponents, 27-6 in the fourth quarter.
With the win, Samford improves to 4-0 for the first time since 1995. The Bulldogs are also 2-0 in SoCon play for the first time since joining the league in 2008. Samford has now come from behind in the fourth quarter to win its last three SoCon games, dating back to last season's win at The Citadel. Western Carolina falls to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in league play.
Samford was led offensively by junior running back Fabian Truss, rushing 23 times for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Andy Summerlin completed 22-of-32 passes for 173 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Defensively for Samford, Jaquiski Tartt had a career-high 14 tackles. Keith Shoulders had 12 tackles, while Darion Sutton added 11 stops. James Bradberry had the first two interceptions of his Samford career.
Senior place-kicker Cameron Yaw became Samford's all-time leading scorer in the game, making one of his three field goal attempts and both of his extra-point attempts. Yaw has now scored 257 points in his Samford career, breaking the previous record of 256 points set by Michael O'Neal from 1989 to 1992.
For Western Carolina, quarterback Eddie Sullivan completed 16-of-35 passes for 136 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Rock Williams led the WCU defense with 16 tackles.
Samford entered the fourth quarter trailing, 21-10. Summerlin starting the comeback by hitting Riley Hawkins for a 20-yard touchdown with 12:58 left in the fourth quarter. Summerlin then connected with Kelvin Clay on the two-point conversion to cut the WCU lead to 21-18.
The Bulldogs scored the game-winning points when Truss scored his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard run. Yaw added the extra point to give Samford a 25-21 lead with 5:00 to go in the game. Western Carolina had two more possessions before the end of the game, but the Samford defense stopped the Catamounts as the Bulldogs held on to remain unbeaten on the season.
Western Carolina put the first points on the scoreboard on the first play from scrimmage when Summerlin was sacked in the end zone by Sertonuse Harris, and WCU's Caleb Hawkins recovered Summerlin's fumble for a Catamount touchdown. Richard Sigmon added the extra point to give WCU a 7-0 lead with 14:43 to go in the first quarter.
Both teams had opportunities to score later in the first half, but both teams missed field goal attempts, and the first half ended with Western Carolina holding a 7-0 advantage.
Samford put its first points on the scoreboard on its first drive of the third quarter. Truss scored on a 25-yard run, and Yaw added the extra point to tie the score at 7-7 with 12:40 left in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs took the lead when Yaw kicked a 26-yard field goal to put Samford ahead, 10-7 with 10:46 left in the third quarter. The drive was set up when Bradberry intercepted his second pass of the day and returning it to the WCU 16-yard line.
Western Carolina answered on its next drive to take the lead again. Sullivan hit Conner Orr on a 14-yard touchdown, and Sigmon added the PAT to make the score 14-10 with 6:11 left in the third quarter.
The Catamounts struck again when Sullivan hit Jacoby Mitchell on an eight-yard touchdown with 22.2 seconds to go in the third quarter. Sigmon's extra point gave WCU a 21-10 lead.
#18 Appalachian State 34, Chattanooga 17
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The No. 17 Appalachian State Mountaineers rebounded from an early 10-0 hole to score the game's next 34 points, 24 of which came in the decisive fourth quarter of the ASU's 34-17 win over Chattanooga on Saturday evening at Finley Stadium.
The Mountaineers found themselves behind 10-0 less than 13 minutes into the game. However, Appalachian dominated the rest of the way, scoring 10 second-quarter points to knot the score at halftime and putting 24 points on the board in a 10:31 span of the final period to pull away from the Mocs.
Things started inauspiciously for the Mountaineers, who turned the ball over on each of their first two possessions. On the Apps' first possession, UTC's Davis Tull beat Appalachian right tackle Will Corbin to the edge and leveled quarterback Jamal Jackson, who fumbled on the big hit. The Mocs recovered on Appalachian's eight yard line and two plays later, took a 7-0 lead on Jacob Huesman's seven-yard touchdown pass to Marion Anthony.
On the Mountaineers' next drive, the pocket collapsed again around Jackson, who was hit as he threw. The pass was picked off by UTC's Chas Moore, who returned it 33 yards to the Appalachian 33. However, the turning point in the game may have come on the ensuing series when the Mountaineer defense only allowed the Mocs to turn the miscue into a field goal that stretched the UTC lead to 10-0 with 2:01 to play in the opening period.
The second quarter and, frankly, the rest of the game, was all Appalachian State. The Mountaineers outgained the Mocs, 137-30, in the second period and scored on a 38-yard field goal by Drew Stewart and a 35-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Steven Miller with 32 seconds to go before the half to send the teams to the locker rooms knotted at 10-10.
After a scoreless third quarter, Appalachian squelched any hopes of a Chattanooga upset by turning in one of its finest periods in recent memory in the fourth quarter. Spurred by a 30-yard pass from Jackson to Malachi Jones on the next-to-last play of the third quarter, the Mountaineers took their first lead of the game just 59 seconds into the final period on a 38-yard field goal by Stewart that made it 13-10.
Chattanooga (1-3, 0-1 SoCon) drove into Appalachian territory on the ensuing possession but the tide of the game turned for good when Jamill Lott picked off a Huesman pass at the Apps' 26 yard line. Four plays later, Jackson found Sean Price for a 36-yard touchdown pass that stretched the Appalachian lead to 20-10.
The Mountaineer defense forced the second of three-straight UTC turnovers two plays later when Demetrius McCray drilled UTC wideout Ron Moore, whose fumble was recovered by Brandon Grier on the Mocs' 14 yard line. It only took Jackson and Price one play to turn that miscue into another Mountaineer touchdown, a 14-yard connection that made it 27-10.
Nine plays later, Grier picked off Huesman for the second time in three series and returned it 70 yards to paydirt. Grier's first-career touchdown ended any doubt in the final outcome, as it gave Appalachian State a 34-10 lead with 3:30 to go in the ballgame.
One week after surrendering 618 yards in a 52-28 loss to The Citadel, Appalachian's defense returned to form on Saturday night, limiting Chattanooga to 270 yards, 65 of which came on the Mocs' final touchdown drive well after the final outcome was decided. The Mountaineers forced three turnovers - all of which came in the decisive fourth quarter - and held the Mocs to just 87 rushing yards (86 yards below its season average coming in) on 32 attempts (2.7 yards per rush).
Grier led the way with a team-high-tying seven tackles, a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry. Lott and Joel Ross also chipped in with seven tackles apiece.
Offensively, Appalachian racked up 401 yards, marking its fourth-straight game with at least 400 total yards. Jackson led the way with 268 yards and three touchdowns on 19-of-30 passing and 27 yards on 11 rushes. Price was his favorite target, catching 10 balls for 130 yards and two scores and going over 100 receiving yards for the second time in as many games this season. Miller went over 90 yards on the ground for the third-straight game, finishing with 94 yards on 22 carries to go along with the 35-yard touchdown reception.
#10 Georgia Southern 26, Elon 23
STATESBORO, Ga. -- In a game that featured three ties and five lead changes, the Elon Phoenix's attempt at an upset of 10th-ranked Georgia Southern fell just short as the Eagles pulled out a 26-23 decision thanks to a late, fourth-quarter field goal.
With the game tied at 23, Georgia Southern (2-1, 1-1 SoCon) got the ball at its own 29 with 7:44 to play. Ezayi Youyoute picked up 16 on second-and-10 before Jerick McKinnon took the ball to the Elon 18 with a 37-yard run. With the ball at the Elon 15, Alex Hanks came on and booted a 32-yard field goal with 3:40 remaining.
The Phoenix (2-2, 0-1) began its final drive from its own 22 and converted a third-and-two when Thomas Wilson fired a laser over the middle that was snared by Kierre Brown for a gain of 23 yards. Facing third-and-13 from the 50, Wilson again went deep to Brown who hauled in a 38-yard reception at the Eagles' 12, but as he tried for extra yardage Brown was stripped of the ball and Georgia Southern recovered to end the threat.
Wilson completed 22 of his 36 pass attempts for 302 yards, the fourth 300-yard game of his career, and a pair of touchdowns. Wide receiver #Aaron Mellette caught nine balls for 68 yards and two scores for the Phoenix.
The Elon defense was led by Jonathan Spain's 16-tackle performance.
Georgia Southern drove 56 yards on six plays and grabbed an early 6-0 lead thanks to a 38-yard pass from Youyoute to Kentrellis Showers on its first possession to start the scoring. The PAT try failed, keeping what would prove to be an important point off the board.
On the first play of its next possession, the Eagles fumbled the ball away and Elon's Miles Williams fell on it at the GSU 22 to give the Phoenix prime field position. The maroon and gold would advance the ball to the five before Adam Shreiner booted a 22-yard field goal to make it a 6-3 game.
Elon's Jay Brown recovered a second Southern fumble at the GSU 41 and the Phoenix ate 4:16 off the clock before Shreiner booted a 30-yard field goal to tie the score at six with 4:47 left in the first half of play. Wilson twice kept drives alive with scrambles, gaining 10 yards on one run and 13 on another.
The Phoenix turned a third Eagle fumble, this one recovered by Michael Pearson, into another score. On the second play of the possession, Wilson hit a slanting Mellette for a nine-yard touchdown. The PAT put the maroon and gold on top 13-6 with just under four minutes to play in the first half.
With the score even at 13, the Eagles took over at the Elon 40 following a turnover and moved the ball to the Phoenix's 10 before Alex Hanks hit a 27-yard field goal to exchange the lead with 6:22 to go in the third quarter.
Elon immediately answered, marching 76 yards in six plays that concluded with a toss from Wilson to a single-covered Mellette for a 15-yard score. The PAT made it a 20-16 Phoenix lead with less than 4:30 to play in the third. Twice on the drive, Wilson drilled 32-yard connections - including one on third-and-six from its own 28 to Brown.
JJ Wilcox brought the ensuing kickoff back 52 yards to the Elon 41 before Showers went 26 yards on a reverse to set up a first-and-goal at the Elon four. Two plays later, Dominique Swope plunged in from two yards out as the two sides swapped the lead again as GSU moved in front 23-20.
The next Phoenix drive began at its own 24 before Wilson drilled one to Mellette for 12 yards. A GSU penalty on that play moved the ball to midfield before Wilson tossed to Jeremy Peterson who slipped a tackle and went 45 yards to the Eagles' five. Unable to punch it in, Elon knotted the game up at 23 with a 33-yard field goal off the foot of Shreiner early in the fourth quarter.
Furman 31, Presbyterian 21
CLINTON, S.C. -- Hank McCloud rushed for a career high 78 yards and three touchdowns to power Furman to a 31-21 win over Presbyterian in football action Saturday afternoon at Bailey Memorial Stadium.
McCloud, a sophomore from Tampa, Fla., scored on runs of 45, 13, and 7 yards in the first half to help Furman (1-3) build a 24-0 halftime lead en route to the victory, the Paladins' 14th straight in the series that pitted the two schools against each for the first time in Clinton since 1975.
Jerodis Williams led all rushers with 136 yards and a score to pace Furman's ground attack, which accounted for 239 yards. The Paladins rolled up 456 total yards to 313 for PC (1-3).
Furman limited the Blue Hose to just 43 yards rushing on 27 carries and recorded four sacks for 22 yards in losses. In addition, the Paladins notched an interception and a fumble recovery while playing its first turnover free contest of the season.
Furman took command of the contest early, scoring touchdowns on its first two possessions on McCloud runs of 45 and 13 yards to take a 14-0 first quarter lead.
The Paladins used a 50-yard pass completion from quarterback Reese Hannon to tight end Colin Anderson midway through the second quarter to set up their third score, which came four plays later on a McCloud 7-yard run off the right side.
Furman, which outgained PC 334-87 in the first two periods, wrapped up a stellar first half with solid execution in a 10-play, 54-yard drive that culminated with a Ray Early 21-yard field goal with 21 seconds to go before intermission.
PC got on the board with its first possession of the second half, covering 73 yards in 12 plays for an Arthur Williams 5-yard scoring strike from quarterback Tamyn Garrick.
Furman answered with a 16-play, 67-yard drive the netted a 5-yard touchdown run around right end by Williams that stretched the Paladins' lead to 31-7.
The Blue Hose won the fourth quarter, tallying scoring runs by Michael Ruff and Demarcus Rouse that covered four and three yards, respectively, to make it a 31-21 game. Furman, however, ended any hopes of a PC comeback when Mitch McGrath pounced on a PC onside kick attempt with 2:42 remaining. From that point the Paladins used four running plays to advance to the PC 10 as time expired.
Furman quarterback Reese Hannon completed 17-of-26 passes for 217 yards in his second collegiate start. PC, meanwhile, was led by quarterback Tamyn Garrick, who connected on 20-of-32 passes for 270 yards and a score.
Gary Wilkins led Furman defensively with nine tackles, and Matt Solomon finished with eight stops, a sack, and a pass deflection. McGrath registered four stops, an interception, the seventh of his career, and three pass breakups. Shawn Boone, meanwhile, contributed a sack and a fumble recovery to along with two tackles.
NC State 52, #10 The Citadel 14
RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State topped The Citadel 52-14 before 55,145 fans Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium in the first meeting between the two teams since 1983.
The Wolfpack (3-1) denied the Bulldogs their fourth straight win to open the season and first victory over an FBS team since their Southern Conference championship campaign of 1992. The Citadel returns to SoCon play next Saturday night at home against Chattanooga at 6 p.m.
The Citadel remained winless in 28 games against the ACC since the conference was formed in 1953. NC State has won all five matchups in the series.
The game was all NC State after a 65-yard run by Darien Robinson brought The Citadel into a 7-7 tie with 5:45 remaining in the first quarter. The touchdown was Robinson's third of the season and was just two yards shy of his career-long run set against Elon a year ago.
Robinson finished the night with nine carries for 102 yards, his third 100-yard game of the season and sixth of his career, and VanDyke Jones added 46 rushing yards. The Bulldogs were limited to 199 yards on the ground after averaging 370.0 in its season opening three-game winning streak.
The Wolfpack answered the Robinson score with a pair of touchdowns in a span of 2:37 to take a 21-7 lead after the first quarter, a stretch keyed by a fumble by Ben Dupree that was recovered by Brian Slay at The Citadel 24 and led to a 20-yard touchdown pass from Mike Glennon to Bryan Underwood.
NC State added three more touchdowns in the second quarter, including a 73-yard punt return by Rashard Smith.
Glennon led a 284-yard offensive attack in the first half and had two rushing touchdowns in addition to his pass to Underwood. Glennon's one-yard plunge as the clock hit zero sent the Wolfpack into the locker room with a 42-7 cushion.
After a promising opening drive which reached NC State territory and Robinson's long run, the physical advantage enjoyed by the Wolfpack took over. NC State limited the Bulldogs to 34 yards the rest of the half by shutting down both the perimeter and inside running game.
Glennon, a graduate student with NFL aspirations, completed 19 of 24 passes for 233 yards. Shadrach Thornton led NC State ball carriers with 145 yards and scored two first half touchdowns. Potential first round draft pick David Amerson picked off an Aaron Miller pass to tie the Wolfpack career record with 16.
The Bulldogs took advantage of a Wolfpack turnover to score the first touchdown of the second half. Rah Muhammad recovered a Glennon fumble at the NC State 28, and Vinny Miller scored his second touchdown of the season on a 15-yard run with 6:10 left in the third quarter.
The Wolfpack rounded out the scoring with a six-yard run by Brandon Barnes and a 23-yard field goal by Niklas Sade.
Carl Robinson had his third straight double figure tackle game with 13 to increase his team-leading total to 45 while Muhammad followed with 10 stops. Freshman Mark Thomas had a sack in his third straight game, fellow first-year player Mitchell Jeter had his first career sack and senior Chris Billingslea also had a quarterback takedown.
The game featured the return to game action for junior defensive tackle Derek Douglas. Douglas suffered a torn ACL during spring practice and returned to full speed in drills this week. He was credited with an assisted tackle against the Wolfpack.