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Football Falls 45-27 to Christopher Newport

Carter Cunningham

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-The Hampden-Sydney football team had its 2016 home opener spoiled as the Captains of Christopher Newport took a 45-27 decision on Fulton Field. The Tigers fall to 0-2 on the young season while the Captains improve to 2-0. Hampden-Sydney will return to the road next week, as the Tigers will face Ferrum at Salem Stadium.

Christopher Newport owned the time of possession in the first quarter with nearly 12 minutes on offense, but the Captains managed just a field goal on a ten-play, 75 yard drive that spanned over seven minutes.

On the ensuing kickoff, freshman Matt DeMasi (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox) went 93-yards for his second consecutive week with a kickoff return for a touchdown.

That score sparked both offenses, who scored on five consecutive drives. Christopher Newport took its lead back at 10-7 with a Kyree Burton 33-yard run, but Alec Cobb (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale) hit Owen Costello (South Riding, VA/Paul VI) for a nine-yard score under three minutes later.

A K.J. Kearney seven yard run flipped the lead again, but Cobb threw his second touchdown pass on the ensuing drive – this one a 17-yard connection with Cam Johnson (Dillwyn, VA/Buckingham) – to give the Tigers a 21-17 lead with just under six minutes remaining in the half.

Christopher Newport, however, got the final strike of the half with a Joshua Davis 22-yard touchdown catch for a 24-21 lead.

The Captains then built the lead on the first drive after intermission, taking just two plays to go 75 yards for a 31-21 lead.

The Tigers kept in the game with a Mike DeMasi (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox) four-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.

After traded punts into the fourth quarter, B.J. Hill picked off a pass that set the Captains up at the Hampden-Sydney eight-yard line for a Kearney touchdown. Christopher Newport followed that up with a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown from Brennan Gary on the ensuing drive that put the Captains up 45-27.

Hampden-Sydney was forced to punt on its next drive, and Christopher Newport was able to run the clock out.

On the day, the Tigers tallied 356 yards of offense courtesy 282 passing and 74 rushing. Cobb was 26-of-42 for 274 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Johnson caught a team-high seven passes for 83 yards and a score, while Carter Cunningham (Farmville, VA/Fuqua) had a strong outing with six catches for 100 yards to go with five carries for 19 yards. Costello had five catches for 43 yards and a score. Mike DeMasi carried the run game with 62 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

Defensively, the Tigers allowed 557 yards of total offense with 355 coming through the air and 202 on the ground. Bender Vaught (Ashland, VA/Patrick Henry) led the way with nine tackles, while Jamal Woolridge (Chester, VA/Thomas Dale) record eight, including one for loss and a forced fumble. Ryan Mallory (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) and Griffin Davis (Charlottesville, VA/William & Mary) each had six tackles.

Hampden-Sydney returns to action Saturday, September 17 as the Tigers face off with Ferrum at Salem Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM.

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