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Tigers Fall 38-28 in Season Opener

Tigers Fall 38-28 in Season Opener

DANVILLE, VA-The Hampden-Sydney Tigers fell 38-28 to Averett in the 2016 season opener. The Tigers opened up quickly to a 14-0 lead, but Averett tied the game at 14-14 at the half; they then took a lead in the second half and held on as the Tigers tried to mount a comeback. The Tigers (0-1, 0-0 ODAC) return to the friendly confines of Lewis C. Everett Stadium next Saturday, September 10 as they host the Captains of Christopher Newport University.

The Tigers put up 329 yards of offense via 236 through the air and 93 on the ground. Averett had a strong night offensively with 520 total yards of offense with 262 passing and 258 rushing.

The Tigers started off the game with a bang, as freshman Matt DeMasi (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox) returning the opening kickoff 97 yards for a quick 7-0 lead. That return tied the program record for longest kickoff return.

Just four minutes later Edgar Moore (Tallahassee, FL/Maclay School) hit Owen Costello (South Riding, VA/Paul VI) for a 31-yard touchdown pass.

Averett's offense then kicked into gear on the ensuing drive, going 41 yards on six plays to make it a 14-7 game on a 17-yard touchdown catch from Myles Bennett.

The Cougars then tied the game at 14-14 early in the second quarter with a Sean Bowman one-yard run.

Neither team was able to gain momentum the rest of the half.

Averett broke the tie and took its first lead on their opening drive of the third quarter, going 75 yards in four plays for a 21-14 lead. The Cougars then upped the lead to 28-14 six minutes later on a Kelly Hall nine-yard run.

The Tigers came back within a score to start the fourth with Alec Cobb (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale) hitting Cam Johnson (Dillwyn/ VA/Buckingham) for a 19-yard strike.

Averett responded, however, with a score on their next drive to go up 35-21.

The Tigers still did not go away, firing right back with a Carter Cunningham (Farmville, VA/CNU) nine-yard touchdown reception.

The Tigers had another drive after a defensive stop, but Averett picked off a pass deep in Tiger territory that led to a 23-yard field goal and the final 38-28 lead.

On the night, Moore went 12-of-28 for 149 yards and a touchdown, and Coob went 5-of-11 for 87 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Costello was the top receiver with five catches for 102 yards and a score. Johnson added 60 yards and a score on four catches. Mike DeMasi (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox) led the run game with 33 yards on 11 carries.

Defensively, Bender Vaught (Ashland, VA/Patrick Henry) led all players with 11 tackles, including 4,5 for loss and 2.0 sacks. Griffin Davis (Charlottesville, VA/William & Mary) had nine tackles, with 2.5 behind the line of scrimmage and a sack, and Brian Gwaltney (Colonial Heights, VA/Colonial Heights) tallied seven stops.

Averett's Sean Bowman had a monster day of 199 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries, and Kelly Hall threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns on 20-of-27 passing.

Hampden-Sydney returns to action Saturday, September 10, as the Tigers host Christopher Newport. Kick off is set for 1:00 PM.

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