EMORY, VA-The Hampden-Sydney Tigers shook off an early 21-0 deficit to have an impressive comeback 31-28 win over Emory & Henry. The comeback was capped off by a 22-yard field goal from Liam Hedge (Roanoke, VA/Woodberry Forest) with five seconds remaining in the game. The Tigers scored 28 straight points from 33 seconds before the half to the 1:41 mark in the third quarter. With the win, the Tigers improve to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in ODAC play while the Wasps drop to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
Turnovers hampered the Tigers early with Emory & Henry picking off three passes and scoring on two of them, but Edgar Moore (Tallahassee, FL/Maclay School) righted the ship late in the second quarter and ended the day with 460 yards and two touchdown passes on 36-of-54 accuracy.
It was all Emory & Henry early with Isaiah Rodgers and Chris Thompson each finding the end zone in the first quarter.
The Wasps then upped their lead in the second quarter, using an interception to set up a 28-yard touchdown strike from Kevin Saxton to Ashton Cline.
After the third score, the Tiger defense held strong, forcing three punts, including the third that gave Hampden-Sydney the ball on their own 20-yard line with 1:40 remaining and no timeouts. The offense proceeded to drive the length of the field and Moore hit Michael Mey (Glen Allen, VA/VMI) for a 24-yard touchdown with just 33 seconds to go before intermission.
The Tigers continued that momentum into the second half, taking the opening drive 69 yards downfield with Mike DeMasi (Virginia Beach, VA/Cox) scoring on a three-yard run on the 12 play of the drive.
Following an Emory & Henry three-and-out, the Tigers tied the game as Mel Savarese (Winchester, VA/James Woods) capping off a nine-play, 76 yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown catch.
The offense kept rolling, scoring on their fourth consecutive drive, converting on a 4-and-goal on the one-yard on a Kyree Koonce (Charlottesville, VA/Monticello) run.
Emory & Henry responded on its ensuing drive, breaking its scoring drought with a ten-yard touchdown run up the middle from Rodgers.
After the game was tied again at 28-28, the defenses held strong with each team having three failed drives. Emory & Henry's last drive led to a punt that downed the Tigers on their own 18 yard line with 1:04 remaining on the clock.
Koonce started the drive with a 16-yard run, and that was followed up by a 31-yard reception by Mey that put the Tigers on the Emory & Henry 35-yard line. With under a minute to go, Cam Johnson (Dillwyn, VA/Buckingham) made a great catch on the Emory & Henry four-yard line for the 33 yard pickup. That then led to the game-winning field goal from Hedge.
The Wasps had one last shot, and with some laterals advanced the ball to the Hampden-Sydney 15-yard line, but it was not enough.
On the day, the Tigers racked up 548 yards of offense on 98 plays. 460 came through the air and 88 on the ground. Johnson led all receivers with 11 catches for 158 yards. Austin Perryman (Fairfax, VA/Fairfax) had a career day with 101 yards on eight catches. Mey added 84 yards and a touchdown on six catches, and Owen Costello (South Riding, VA/Paul VI) and Savarese combined for nine catches, 94 yards, and a touchdown.
Koonce again led the rushing attack with 66 yards and a score on 27 carries.
Defensively, the Tigers allowed 412 yards on 267 passing and 145 rushing, Nick Martin (Round Hill, VA/Loudoun Valley) and Sidney Henry (Haymarket, VA/Battlefield) led the team with six tackles each, while Ben Carson (Winston-Salem, NC/Mount Tabor), Ryan Mallory (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover), and Jay Brooks (Virginia Beach, VA/Cox) all tallied five stops.
Hampden-Sydney will return home next Saturday, October 24 to host the Hornets of Shenandoah University on Homecoming Weekend. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM.