FINALLY OFF THE ROAD: Blue Hose play inspired football to get home field win
What Streak? Blue Hose Football takes 10-point win over G-W.
Rod Haygood’s interception to start the 4th quarter and Noah Suber’s defensive stop, third down, with 1:18 left in the game iced Presbyterian College’s 24-14 win over Gardner-Webb, Saturday at Bailey Memorial Stadium.
The defense allowed the “Runnin’” Bulldogs 36 yards total rushing for the game.
After Suber broke up a pass on third down, G-W failed on fourth down and surrendered the ball, down 10 points. Freshman QB Tyler Huff managed the victory formation the rest of the way for the PC win.
The win snapped PC’s 16-game losing streak – which was the longest in NCAA Division I FBS and FCS. Akron and Texas Southern now have the nation’s longest active losing streak in the two divisions.
Huff managed the clock brilliantly down the stretch for the Blue Hose. Huff threw for 145 yards and ran for 86 more, scoring a 4th quarter touchdown. PC’s defense surrendered a lot of first half passing yards, mostly on long-distance jump-balls, but shut that down in the second half. G-W made mistakes – after an interception the defender lost the ball through the back of the end zone, giving PC the ball back and leading to an 80-yard Blue Hose scoring drive, and messed up the snap on a punt, scooped by Airon Buick, red-shirt sophomore defensive end, setting up a Dohnte Meyers touchdown reception. Jarius Jeter also scored a touchdown, and Parker Maddray kicked a 27-yard field goal (10-play drive).
Colby Campbell, with 11 tackles, set the PC DI single-season tackles record – 117 on the season – with two games left to play.
Keith Pearson led PC receivers with 6 catches for 54 yards. He is 3rd in the PC DI record book for career catches, 116.
Meyers moved into 4th in the PC DI record book with 7 career touchdowns, after his team-leading 5th scoring catch of the season.
Jeffrey Smyth, freshman defensive back out of Beaufort, got a first quarter interception (31-yard return), his Blue Hose career first, to go with 13 tackles, 6 solo.
PC’s offense generated 274 yards, 145 passing and 129 rushing. Izaiah Catchings had 120 yards receiving for the visiting Bulldogs.
Presbyterian moves to 1-9 on the season, 1-4 for its final season in the Big South. G-W falls to 3-7, also 1-4 in the Big South.
After the Haygood early 4th quarter pick, the action really got going as G-W tried to avoid being PC’s first victim in the last 16 games (Blue Hose football’s last win before this past Saturday was Sept. 28, 2018, over Lindsey Wilson College; the last time PC defeated a DI opponent was the 2017 season finale, also G-W, 31-21).
With 10:10 to play, G-W struck with a 28-yard pass completion, but PC still clung to its 10-point margin with 8 minutes to play. Tanner Wilheim earned a sack for PC on 4th and 12 with 7:44 left in the game. Then, Huff took over, controlling the game, managing the play clock and breaking off a big run down the stretch. PC failed on a 4th down at the G-W 25, but then the Bulldogs suffered a 10-yard loss. Still, G-W converted a 3rd and 15 with 2:39 left to play, keeping the visitors hopes alive for a touchdown, successful on-side kick and tying field goal. Then, Suber stepped in to foil G-W on 3rd down, and the Bulldogs failed on 4th down.
On Military Appreciation Day for the Blue Hose, PC Alum Brigadier General John Gentry served as the honorary captain. Attendance was 1,509.
(Presbyterian continues its three-game homestand this Saturday when the Blue Hose welcome Charleston Southern to Bailey Memorial Stadium, 1 pm kick. The game will be shown on ESPN+ and broadcasted on WPCC 96.5 FM and Fox Sports 98.3 FM. Charleston Southern defeated Gardner-Webb, 30-27, on Nov. 2 in league play.)