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Hampden-Sydney Football Falls To Averett 28-16

Rhett Andersen
Rhett Andersen

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va. -- Hampden-Sydney College had 430 yards of total offense, but visiting Averett University scored two touchdowns each in the second and third quarters for a 28-16 season-opening college football win on Saturday afternoon on Fulton Field at Lewis C. Everett Stadium in Hampden-Sydney.  The host Tigers (0-1) did get a school-record 48-yard field goal from junior kicker Rhett Andersen/Poquoson in the fourth quarter, while senior captain and quarterback Clay Vick/Raleigh, N.C. passed for 360 yards in his first collegiate start.  The Cougars (1-0) got a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Joshua Tapscott in the second quarter, and Chase Nixon caught a 50-yard TD pass from Jacob Wright in the third quarter.

H-SC put the first points on the board with 9:10 remaining in the first quarter as Andersen made a 26-yard field goal.  The kick capped a 10-play, 49-yard drive on the first possession of the game for the Tigers, who led 3-0.  Sophomore running back Kaleb Smith/Rocky Mount ran for 24 yards on the drive, while senior captain and wide receiver Major Morgan/Onancock caught two passes for 25 yards.  The two teams traded punts before the Cougars missed on a 30-yard field goal attempt with 45-seconds left in the quarter, and the hosts led 3-0 after one period.

AU, picked to win the USA South Conference, put together a six-play, 40-yard drive midway through the second quarter capped by a 25-yard TD pass from Wright to Delquan Bigelow with 6:07 on the clock and a 7-3 lead after the PAT.  H-SC answered right back with a 31-yard TD pass from Vick to junior tight end Ed Newman/Farmville for a 10-7 lead at 4:47, the PAT good by Andersen.  It was a quick 65-yard drive in four plays that also included junior wide receiver Blake Page/Richmond catching two passes for 34 yards.

The Cougars, however, took back the momentum when Tapscott returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for the TD, and the PAT put the visitors ahead for good at 14-10 with 4:31 left in the first half.  The Tigers were driving again on their next possession, reaching the visitor 19 yard line on a six-yard reception by junior running back Justin Pollard/Culpeper, but a personal foul penalty stalled the drive and it remained 14-10 at the intermission.

H-SC used an 11-play, 67-yard drive to open the third quarter for another field goal from Andersen, this time from 25 yards out, to make it 14-13 with 10:44 on the clock.  Morgan had a 36-yard catch to the five yard line for the Tigers, while Smith rushed for 16 yards and Page had a 14-yard reception.  AU responded quickly once-again, this time with the 50-yard TD toss from Wright to Nixon at 9:03 of the quarter for a 21-13 lead after the PAT.  It finished a 71-yard drive in four plays. 

H-SC was unable to score on its next possession, but Andersen was able to place a 30-yard punt down at the AU 11.  The Cougars, though, would go the 89 yards in seven plays with a 15-yard TD pass from Wright to Jarrod Mosby with 2:22 left in the quarter.  The PAT gave the visitors a 28-13 advantage as the two squads went to the fourth quarter.

The Tigers took the ensuing possession and went 44 yards in 10 plays to the AU 31 yard line to set-up Andersen for his record-breaking field goal.  The 48-yard kick surpassed the previous school record of 47 yards that had stood since 1973 when George Simons connected from that distance against Western Maryland.  Unfortunately, H-SC was unable to score again as the final margin remained at 28-16.  The host team did drive to the Cougars' 16 yard line with just under six minutes remaining, but Vick was stopped for no gain on fourth and one.  Morgan had four catches for 56 yards on the drive.  The Tigers moved the ball to the AU 15 on their final possession before a pair of sacks sandwiched around two incompletions halted the effort.

Vick passed for 360 yards (32-53) and one TD with no interceptions, while Morgan had 13 receptions for 169 yards.  Smith rushed for 109 yards on 24 carries, Page finished with six catches for 59 yards and Newman had four receptions for 63 yards and the TD.  Junior wide receiver Dillon Costello/Haymarket added two catches for 36 yards, and Andersen was 3-3 on field goals, including his new school-record kick from 48 yards out.

Senior captain and linebacker Griffin Davis/Charlottesville and sophomore linebacker Stephen Cash/Kill Devil Hills, N.C. each had seven tackles to lead H-SC.  Junior linebacker Brendan Weinberg/Apex, N.C. and sophomore cornerback Dallas Robinson/Lorton each added six tackles, while junior captain and safety Riggs Jordan/Bassett along with classmate and safety Jameel Siler/Centreville each contributed four tackles.  Sophomore cornerback Jordan Fields/Chapel Hill, N.C. had an interception, the first of the season for the Tigers, and the first of his collegiate career for Fields.

Wright finished with 226 yards passing (19-28) and three TDs with one interception, adding 17 yards rushing on three carries.  Tapscott led the Cougars with 69 yards on the ground in 13 carries.  Nixon had 83 yards receiving on five catches and the TD, while Mosby added four receptions for 45 yards and the TD.  Bigelow had the other TD catch, his only reception, for 25 yards.

Octavius Ross led AU's defense with 11 tackles, while Nicholas Mintz had eight tackles and Conner Showalter finished with seven stops.

H-SC will travel to Newport News next week for another non-conference game at in-state rival Christopher Newport University on Saturday night, September 14, at 7 p.m. at TowneBank Stadium.