Tigers earn first win of season

Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2016

On a rain- and mud-soaked field, the Hampden-Sydney College football team upset 25th-ranked Guilford College 21-15 on Fulton Field, handing the Quakers their first loss of the season. With the win, the Tigers improve to 1-4 on the season and 1-1 in Old Dominion Athletic Conference play.

The game was tight and back-and-forth throughout, with three lead changes and no team leading by more than a score.

The two high-powered offenses were held in check due to the conditions, combining for 534 yards and a third-down conversion rate of 17.6 percent.

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The Tigers, however, benefited from a short field late in the game and used a 7-yard touchdown run from Mike DeMasi (Virginia Beach/Frank W. Cox) with 1:13 remaining to reclaim the final lead of the game at 21-15.

Guilford struck first Saturday, scoring on its opening drive to go up 6-0 early.

It was the Tigers, though, that scored the next two times. Alec Cobb (Jamestown, N.C./Ragsdale) found Carter Cunningham (Farmville/Fuqua) for a 22-yard touchdown for the 7-6 lead. Cobb connected with Cam Johnson (Dillwyn/Buckingham) for a 2-yard scoring pass early in the second quarter, putting the Tigers up 13-6.

Neither team could get momentum for much of the second quarter, preserving the Tiger lead heading into intermission.

The Quakers were able to come out motivated in the second half, using a field goal and a touchdown to go up 15-13 heading into the final 15 minutes.

After both teams went back and forth trading possessions, a bad snap on a punt for the Quakers forced the punter to the ground on the Guilford 27-yard line, giving the Tigers a huge break and a short field.

Three plays later, DeMasi was in the end zone for the lead. Cobb then pushed the lead to six, converting two points on a quarterback keeper.

On the day, Hampden-Sydney had 244 yards of total offense on 178 passing and 66 rushing. Cobb was 13-of-31 passing for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson caught four passes for 50 yards and a score, and Patrick Kline (New Cumberland, Pa./Trinity) had four big catches for 48 yards.

DeMasi again led the ground game with 83 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Cunningham accounted for 74 yards of offense with 41 rushing and 33 receiving.

Defensively, the Tigers held Guilford to 290 yards of offense on 144 passing and 146 rushing. Bender Vaught (Ashland/Patrick Henry) led all players with 12 tackles, including one sack. Griffin Davis (Charlottesville/William & Mary) had nine tackles and a sack, while Ryan Mallory (Mechanicsville/Hanover) and Tanner Ramey (Mechanicsville/Atlee) each had eight stops.

Hampden-Sydney visits Washington, D.C., on Saturday at 1 p.m. to face the Cardinals of Catholic University of America.