DANVILLE, VA-The Hampden-Sydney football team kicked off the year with a season opening victory for the fifth straight year as it toppled the Cougars of Averett University 20-6 in Danville. With the victory, the Tigers begin 2012 at 1-0 overall, while the Cougars begin their journey at 0-1. The win also marks the 90th career win for head coach Marty Favret.
The Tigers' typical high-octane offense was thwarted in the first quarter as they were unable to find the end zone. Though the offense did not score, the Tiger defense - led by Kenny Fryman's (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) game-high 12 tackles - held Averett to just one first down in the entire quarter.
Hampden-Sydney's final drive of the first quarter spanned into the second and led to the first points of the game. Sophomore quarterback Nash Nance (Calhoun, GA/Tennessee) hit Holton Walker (Lynchburg, VA/Brookville), Fuller Clark (Roanoke, VA/North Cross), and Mike Goad (Chesterfield, VA/Matoaca) for a combined 37 yards to help lead the Tigers into the red zone. Averett's defense buckled down, but Max Antwerpes (Mainz, Germany/Kenston Forest) nailed the 27-yard field goal to go up 3-0.
After a three-and-out from the Tiger defense, John Moore (Powhatan, VA/Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot) took the punt return for 51 yards to the Averett five-yard line. The Cougars again tightened up in the red zone, this time forcing a turnover on downs.
Hampden-Sydney was not held out for much longer, however, as a 32-yard reception from Michael Mey (Glen Allen, VA/VMI) set up a 24-yard touchdown pass from Nance to Evan King (Lewisburg, WV/Episcopal).
Antwerpes struck again before the half, kicking a 34-yard field goal with just over three and a half minutes remaining in the half to give Hampden-Sydney a 13-0 lead at intermission.
The third quarter was much like the first with neither team able to put any points on the board; much like the second, the Tigers quickly scored on the possession carried over from the stanza before. It was again King, but this time on the ground after a 27-yard run.
Averett was later able to capitalize on a Hampden-Sydney turnover, taking the ball 48 yards for the score. Kirkland Brown capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to Chaz Norman. The Cougars did not convert the extra point to keep the score at 20-6.
Each team had one more try, but neither could convert with the Tigers taking the final snaps to run the clock out.
On the day, Hampden-Sydney tallied 342 yards of total offense via 191 passing and 151 rushing yards. Nance was 16-for-39 for 169 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Mey and Walker combined for 105 yards on six catches. King had three receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown to go with his 134 rushing yards and score.
Averett recorded 234 yards of offense on 142 yards passing and 92 rushing. Brown threw for all of those 142 yards on 14-of-28 accuracy. Ke'Von White and Ray Brown led a dual rushing attack and combined for 114 yards. Anthony Terry led the Averett receivers with five receptions for 43 yards.
Hampden-Sydney will return to action in its home opener at Everett Stadium on Saturday, September 8 against the Captains of Christopher Newport. Kick-off is set for 1:00 pm.