GREENSBORO, NC-Despite a rocky start, Hampden-Sydney was able to remain perfect in ODAC play at 4-0 and 7-1 overall with a 63-49 win over Guilford College. Senior running back Kirk Rohle (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) accounted for 232 yards of offense while scoring five touchdowns.
The Quakers came out of the gate ready to play, as they led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Tiger offense picked up in the second stanza, though scoring 35 points - including 28 unanswered to end the half.
The Tigers began the game with the ball, but a fumble on the first play from scrimmage handed the ball to the Quakers on the Hampden-Sydney 41-yard line. One play and seconds later, Ben King was the end zone when he caught a play action pass from Zac Halbert to take the 7-0 lead 20 seconds into the game.
The Quakers expanded their lead to 14-0 at the 5:32 mark when Lawrence Blake caught a 15-yard strike from Halbert.
After four traded punts, Hampden-Sydney's offense hit its stride. Before the end of the quarter, Rohle ran for 22 yards to go with a Kyle Vance (Onley, VA/Broadwater Academy) 13-yard reception to put the Tigers on the Guilford 16-yard line. Rohle needed just two tries in the second quarter to put the Tigers on the board at 14-7.
It took Guilford just three plays and 1:19 to respond, however, as a Kevin Tiller II 64-yard touchdown reception put the Quakers up 21-7.
Hampden-Sydney fired right back just over a minute later. Just plays after hitting Vance for 36 yards, Travis Lane (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) used a quarterback keeper to run 22-yards to the end zone. After Lane's score, the Tigers were back within seven at 21-14 with 11:50 to play in the half.
The Tiger defense clamped down for a stop and gave the offense a chance to tie the game. Starting at the Guilford 48-yard line, Lane quickly hit Vance twice for 16 yards to get to the 32-yard line. A 25-yard reception from Sean Cavanagh (Midlothian, VA/Clover Hill) set up a seven-yard equalizing touchdown reception from John Michael Sparagna (Mechanicsville, VA/Atlee).
Three minutes later, Rohle was in the end zone again on a two-yard scamper to give the Tigers their first lead of the day at 28-21.
Rohle was not finished for the half, scoring one more touchdown before the intermission - this one from seven yards out - to give the Tigers a 35-21 half time advantage.
The Quakers couldn't find success on their first drive of the second half, giving the Tigers the chance to strike first - which they did. Rohle started off the Tiger drive with a 41-yard rush, and he ended the drive with a 7-yard touchdown to take a 42-21 lead.
Guilford was later able to respond with a 24-yard touchdown reception from King.
Under a minute and a half later, Rohle found the end zone yet again - this time on a 43-yard reception to score his fifth touchdown of the day, giving his team the 48-28 lead.
The back-and-forth shootout continued, as Guilford responded with a 14 play, 80 yard drive that lasted 6:27 and ended in a three-yard touchdown reception by King - his third of the day. King and Halbert's connection made it a 48-35 game with 41 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Tigers, as they had done most of the day, answered the Quaker score with a touchdown of their own. On a 6-play drive, Lane hit Vance for a 15-yard one-handed grab in the end zone. Lane then ran in for the two-point conversion, putting the Tigers up 56-35 with just over 13 minutes remaining in the game.
Over the next seven minutes, both defenses gave no ground forcing four punts. With 6:08 to play, Guilford started its next scoring drive which took just 38 seconds. Lawrence Blake's 5-yard reception made it a two possession game at 56-42.
Hampden-Sydney was stopped short on the ensuing drive, and Guilford began to creep into Tiger territory. On third-and-15, Halbert's pass was tipped by Kenny Fryman (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) and picked off by Mark Poydence (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley), who ran 44-yards into the end zone for the pick six.
Guilford was able to score one more time as Halbert threw his seventh touchdown pass of the day and first to D.J. Wilson, but 63-49 would be as close as the Quakers would come.
On the day, Lane was 20-of-37 for 303 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Vance was his top target with eight catches for 133 yards and a score. Cavanagh caught three balls for 54 yards. Rohle rushed for 139 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries while gaining 93 yards and a score on five receptions.
The defense was led by Fryman's 12 tackles - 4.0 of which were for loss, including one sack. Alex Price (Fairfax, VA/Fairfax) and John Moore (Powhatan, VA/Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot) each tallied eight tackles.
Halbert was 30-of-60 for 396 yards and seven touchdowns. King caught a game-high 10 passes for 191 yards and three scores. Tiller II had 97 yards and a score, and Blake caught nine passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Guilford's defense was led by Robert Smith and Chris Jessup who each notched nine stops.
At 4-0, Hampden-Sydney will host the most anticipated game of the season next Saturday, November 5 against defending ODAC Champion Washington & Lee (8-1, 5-0) in a game that will decide the 2011 ODAC Champion.