KENNESAW, Ga. – The Wofford College football team’s season ended in a 13-10 loss to Kennesaw State at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs. In a defensive battle, it was a late turnover by the Terriers that the Owls turned into the game-winning field goal with 1:52 left in the game that was the difference
Wofford is 9-4 overall and #4 seed Kennesaw State is 11-1. The Owls advance to host #5 seed South Dakota State next Saturday. The Terriers were led by Nathan Walker with 56 rushing yards, while Joe Newman was 8-of-13 passing for 153 yards and a touchdown. The Owls were led by Darnell Holland with 74 rushing yards and a touchdown. The defenses each held the top rushing attacks in the nation to nearly 200 yards less than the season averages.
The Terriers had the ball first and went three-and-out, while the Owls also went three-and-out and punted on their opening possession. Wofford punted again after a three-and-out. Kennesaw State had a fourth-and-one and lined up to go for it, but a false start penalty forced a punt. Starting the three-yard line, Nathan Walker and Lennox McAfee had first down runs before the Terriers had to punt. The Owls had two first downs and then on the first play of the second quarter Darnell Holland ran 53 yards for a touchdown. Kennesaw State had a 7-0 lead at the 14:48 mark of the quarter.
Wofford wasted little time in answering as Joe Newman threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to D’mauriae VanCleave to tie the game at 7-7 with 13:52 on the clock in the second quarter. After a three-and-out, the Terriers took over at the 41-yard line. Lennox McAfee had a first down run and then Luke Carter hit a 45-yard field goal to give Wofford a 10-7 lead with 7:45 left in the half. The Owls went three-and-out and punted. The Terriers had a first down run by Miller Mosley before having to punt. Kennesaw State had a first down pass to get to midfield. The Owls converted a fourth-and-four with a pass and had a 40-yard field goal as time expired to tie the game at 10.
The Owls had the ball to begin the second half and had one first down. On fourth-and-one, a pass was intercepted by JoJo Tillery and Wofford took over at the 13-yard line. Joe Newman ran for a first down and a pass to D’mauriae VanCleave moved the ball across midfield, but the Terriers had to punt. Kennesaw State started on the 12-yard line and went three-and-out. Wofford followed with a three-and-out on their next possession, but the Terrier defense also forced a three-and-out. Wofford had a first down run by Nathan Walker before a pass by Joe Newman was intercepted by the Owls at the goal line. The officials ruled a touchback and the drive started at the 20-yard line. Brandon Zamary forced a fumble and Mason Alstatt recovered the ball at the 41-yard line. On fourth-and-two, a run by Lennox McAfee was short and the Owls took over.
On their next drive, Kennesaw State went three-and-out and punted. Wofford also went three-and-out and punted. The Owls had a first down and then faced a fourth-and-two. A 48-yard field goal attempt was short and the Terriers took over. Joe Newman was sacked for a loss of 20 yards and fumbled on the play, with the Owls recovering at the 21-yard line. They were unable to gain a first down but took a 13-10 lead on a 30-yard field goal with 1:52 left in the game. Wofford had four straight incomplete passes and the Owls took over with 1:25 remaining. Wofford stopped the Owls and had the ball back with 21 seconds left but were unable to score.
Wofford had 236 total yards, with 162 passing yards. Kennesaw State had 242 total yards, 163 of which were passing. Wofford had 11 first downs, while Kennesaw State had seven. Wofford was 5-of-17 on third downs and 0-of-2 on fourth down. Kennesaw State was 2-of-15 on third down and 1-of-3 on fourth down. Wofford was called for four penalties to two for Kennesaw State. Wofford had a 34:14 to 25:46 time of possession advantage.