HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-The Hampden-Sydney football team fell 17-13 to Christopher Newport in a close battle in the Tigers' 2018 home opener. The teams alternated scores the entire game, with Christopher Newport matching each of the Tigers' scores, until they scored the touchdown midway through the third quarter that would make the four-point difference. The Tigers, now at 0-2, will remain at home, hosting the University of New England next Saturday, September 15. Kick off is set for 1:00 PM.
The Tigers started off on the right foot, forcing a defensive three-and-out, and then getting on the board on its opening drive, going 51 yards in 11 plays to knock in a 26-yard field goal from Rhett Anderson (Poquoson, VA/Poquoson).
Christopher Newport matched that field goal on its ensuing drive, taking nearly seven minutes to go 69 yards and connect on a 30-yard field goal to tie the game.
The tie lasted just two minutes, however, as Alec Cobb (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale) hit Kaleb Smith (Rocky Mount, VA/Franklin County) for a 54-yard touchdown to put the Tigers up 10-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Just as the Tigers quickly scored, the Captains matched, scoring a touchdown 104 seconds later to tie the game at 10-10 early in the second quarter.
The defenses then took over, forcing the two teams into six straight punts before the Tigers got the back will 2:38 to play in the half.
The Tigers were able to execute a 10-play, 68 yard drive that gave them a half time lead as Anderson hit his second field goal of the day – this one from 30 yards out – to put the hosts up 13-10 as time expired.
Christopher Newport took its first and only lead of the game on its opening drive of the second half, taking the ball 82 yards in ten plays to go up 17-13.
Neither defense gave much ground through the rest of the third quarter or the fouth as nobody was able to put any additional points on the board.
Offensively, the Tigers recorded 391 yards of offense, with 399 coming through the air, but they were hampered by seven sacks that led to -8 rushing yards. Cobb was 31-of-47 for 399 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Smith had a strong day with 152 yards of total offense on 44 rushing yards and 108 receiving yards on 12 catches. Major Morgan (Onancock, VA/Broadwater Academy) had eight receptions for 100 yards, and Blake Page (Richmond, VA/Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot) led all players in all-purpose yards with 162, amassing 78 receiving yards on four receptions and 84 kick return yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers allowed 346 yards on 275 passing and 71 rushing. Brian Gwaltney (Colonial Heights, VA/Colonial Heights) led all players with 13 tackles, while Griffin Davis (Charlottesville, VA/Monticello) had 12 stops, including a sack, two tackles-for-loss, and a fumble recovery. John Kline (New Cumberland, PA/Trinity) had a sack and a forced fumble. Brendan Weinberg (Apex, NC/Middle Creek) and Chad Vanlandingham (Mechanicsville, VA/Atlee) each had two tackles-for-loss.
The Tigers will host the University of New England next Saturday, September 15, at 1:00 PM.