HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-The Hampden-Sydney Tigers kicked off the 2011 season in a big way with a 63-9 victory over Averett University. Despite scoring just six points in the opening stanza, the Tigers reeled off 57 unanswered points in the final three quarters to start the year 1-0. Senior quarterback Travis Lane (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns on 20 of 30 accuracy, while senior running back Kirk Rohle (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) led the way on the ground with 119 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Rohle added 67 yards and another score on four receptions. On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers allowed one touchdown on 115 rushing and 149 passing yards.
Neither team could score on their first drives, but it was the Tigers who found the endzone first on their second attempt. After back-to-back first down receptions Eric Gorsline (Virginia Beach, VA/Norfolk Academy) and Kyle Vance (Onley, VA/Broadwater Academy), Rohle broke into Averett territory with a 12 yard scamper. Eight plays later, Rohle notched another 12 yard run that put him in the endzone.
On the ensuing extra point attempt, Roderick Doggett scooped up a fumbled snap and returned it all the way to the endzone for the defensive two points.
After the Tiger defense held their ground and forced a punt, the Tigers marched from their own 25 yard line, and a John Michael Sparagna (Mechanicsville, VA/Atlee) 25 yard gain later put the Tigers on the Averett six yard line. The Cougars bent, but did not break, and four plays later Averett took possession on a turnover on downs.
Kirkland Brown took that momentum to get Averett out to the Hampden-Sydney 43 yard line, but the Tigers tightened up and forced another punt.
Hampden-Sydney was no more fortunate on the ensuing drive, but Sean Clark (Madison Heights, VA/Amherst) came up with a big fumble recovery on Corey Geiger's (Chesapeake, VA/Western Branch) punt. With the extra possession and a drive starting on the Averett 31 yard line, Hampden-Sydney converted when Lane hit Rohle for a 25 yard touchdown. Lane then completed a pass to sophomore Mike Goad (Chesterfield, VA/Matoaca) for the two point conversion, giving the Tigers a 14-2 lead midway through the second quarter.
Just two plays later, Hampden-Sydney had the ball again after sophomore corner Zach Morgan (Virginia Beach, VA/Ocean Lakes) picked off Brown. With momentum and good field position again, the Tigers tacked on seven more with an Evan King (Lewisburg, WV/Episcopal) ten yard run.
The Tigers held Averett to a three-and-out, and again capitalized. Rohle rushed three times for 24 yards, and then Lane hit Gorsline seven yards out for the sophomore's first career touchdown to put his team up 28-2.
The second half began with the two teams trading possessions, including interceptions by sophomore Sean Stewart (Alexandria, VA/Mount Vernon) and Averett's Robslin Emmanuel.
Hampden-Sydney was able to add another seven points at the 3:05 mark when Lane hit Vance for a six yard touchdown.
With another three-and-out by the Tiger defense, the offense carried its drive into the fourth quarter, where sophomore Chris Shembo (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Country Day) ran in for a four yard score.
Up 42-2, the defense was still on cruise control, forcing yet another three-and-out. Offensively, Mitch Pereira (Midlothian, VA/Midlothian) had a big quarter, scoring the final two Tiger touchdowns - both on 11-yard carries.
With a 56-2 lead, the defense was still on point, and freshman Craige Sprouse (Chesterfield, VA/Clover Hill) put the exclamation point on as he returned an interception 37 yards to the endzone. After Max Antwerpes (Mainz, GER/Kenston Forest) converted the extra point, the Tigers led 63-2.
Averett was able to score the final touchdown with a 14 yard reception from Owen Hayden.
As a team, the Tigers amassed 578 yards of offense with 239 rushing yards and 339 yards through the air. Defensively, Hampden-Sydney was led by senior Mark Poydence (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) who had seven tackles, and three tackles-for-loss. Junior Kenny Fryman (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) tallied six tackles, and Steven Fogleman (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover), Grady Bing (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) and August Berling (Richmond, VA/Benedictine) each had five tackles.
Kirkland Brown threw for 110 yards and two interceptions on 9-of-18 accuracy. Hayden had a team high four receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown while Ke'Von White led the way on the ground with 66 yards on 18 carries.
Hampden-Sydney will return to action next Saturday, September 10 as they travel to Rocky Mount, NC to face the Battling Bishops of North Carolina Wesleyan. Kickoff is set for 1:00 pm.