Hampden-Sydney drops opener to Wabash

Published 9:38 am Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Hampden-Sydney College football team fell 35-3 in its season-opener, hosting the tenth-ranked Wabash Little Giants in the second edition of the Gentlemen’s Classic. The Tigers scored on their first drive, but the playmaking defense of Wabash, ranked third nationally in 2014, held the host team scoreless after the opening field goal.

Hampden-Sydney stands at 0-1 on the young season while Wabash starts 1-0.

The Tigers moved the ball well on their first drive, with quarterback Edgar Moore (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay School) leading the offense 63 yards, resulting in a 22-yard Liam Hedge (Roanoke/Woodberry Forest) field goal.

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Wabash’s offense took the field for the first time, but it was short lived as Tyler Martin (Evington/Brookville) picked off Michael Putko on the second play of the drive.

Nick Martin (Round Hill/Loudoun Valley) ended Wabash’s next drive, picking off Connor Rice.

The two teams then traded drives, but the Little Giants broke into the endzone on a Mason Zurek five-yard touchdown with 26 seconds remaining in the opening stanza.

Following a Evan Hansen interception on the ensuing drive, Wabash made it 14-3 early in the second quarter.

The Tiger defense soon after recorded its third interception of the afternoon, with Sidney Henry (Haymarket/Battlefield) returning a pick 18-yards to midfield.

Wabash forced the Tigers to punt, and then drove 80 yards on 21 plays and nearly ten minutes to take a 21-3 lead right before the half.

The teams opened up the second half with traded punts before Wabash upped its lead to 28-3 on a Zurek nine-yards run.

The Tigers had a solid drive following a 20-yard kickoff return from Brian Gwaltney (Colonial Heights/Colonial Heights), but failed to convert the 34-yard field goal.

Wabash then controlled the final stanza, scoring on a five-yard Putko run and keeping the ball for over 12 minutes, courtesy a Tiger interception and fumble.

On the day, Hampden-Sydney had 84 yards of offense with 89 passing and -five rushing. Moore was 12-of-29 for 73 yards and had two inceptions in his debut. Cam Johnson (Dillwyn/Buckingham) led the team with three catches for 30 yards. Michael Mey (Glen Allen/VMI) and Austin Perryman (Fairfax/Fairfax) each had two grabs for a combined 30 yards.

Freshman Kyree Koonce (Charlottesville/Monticello) had a team-high 21 rushing yards on seven carries.

Defensively, Larry Haskins (Buckingham/Fuqua) led all players with 16 tackles. Henry and Tyler Martin each notched ten, while Henry had two interceptions and three pass break ups and Martin had one interception. Nick Martin also added nine stops, one interception and one tackle-for-loss.

Wabash was led by Zurek’s 134 rushing yards and two scores on 26 carries.

Hampden-Sydney returns to action Saturday, Oct.12, as the Tigers travel to Newport News to face the Captains of Christopher Newport University. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.