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Football Falls 31-25 to Emory & Henry

Pat Kline

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-The Hampden-Sydney Tigers took  31-25 loss to Emory & Henry in a back-and-forth game that saw two ties and three lead changes. The Tigers led 17-14 at the half, but two straight touchdowns by the Wasps gave Emory & Henry an 11-point fourth quarter lead. The Tigers battled back to come within six and drove into Emory & Henry territory, but could not convert with the Wasps holding on for the win. With the loss, Hampden-Sydney drops to 2-6 on the season and 2-3 in ODAC play. The Wasps, now on a three-game win streak, improve to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the conference.

The Tigers started the game with a bang, taking the opening drive 70 yards in just 99 seconds for a 53-yard touchdown connection from Alec Cobb (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale) to Cam Johnson (Dillwyn, VA/Buckingham).

The defense then forced a three-and-out, but Emory & Henry's defense responded with an interception hat led to a Sam Wagner two-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7 early.

Emory & Henry then took its first lead of the game early in the second quarter, going up 14-7 just a minute and a half into the quarter on a 35-yard strike from Kevin Saxton to A.J. Hampton.

The Tigers fired right back, however, taking the ensuing drive 77 yards in nearly five minutes to see Major Morgan (Onancock, VA/Broadwater Academy) catch his first career touchdown on a nine-yard reception.

After traded punts, the Tigers then took the lead going into half with a 33-yard field goal from Jordan Chalkley (Richmond, VA/St. Christopher's).

The Wasps scored the lone touchdown of the third quarter, taking a 21-17 lead into the final stanza. They then upped that lead with another touchdown, going up 28-17 with 13:30 to play in the game.

Hampden-Sydney responded on the ensuing drive with a QB keeper touchdown from Cobb. Matt DeMasi (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox) then converted the two-point conversion to bring the Tigers within three.

Emory & Henry was able to come down the field and extend its lead, but only by three as the Tiger defense held the Wasps to a 39-yard field goal with 8:22 to play.

The Tigers marched down into Wasp territory, but Eric Johnson picked off Cobb on a fourth-and-seven pass to cut the drive short.

With just over four minutes to play, the Wasps were able to pick up two crucial first downs and run out the clock.

On the day, the Tigers tallied 411 yards of offense on 342 passing and 69 rushing. Cobb was 26-of-51 for 342 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. Patrick Kline (New Cumberland, PA/Trinity) had a strong outing with six catches for 76 yards. Mike DeMasi (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox) had five catches for 24 yards while also leading the ground attack with 55 yards on 18 carries.

Morgan and Owen Costello (South Riding, VA/Paul VI) each had four catches for a combined 127 yards, and Johnson caught three balls for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Tigers allowed 502 yards of offense on 351 passing and 151 rushing. Bender Vaught (Ashland, VA/Patrick Henry) led the way with seven tackles, while Matt Dooley (Haymarket, VA/Battlefield) and Tanner Ramey (Mechanicsville, VA/Atlee) had six and five stops, respectively. Jamal Woolridge (Chester, VA/Thomas Dale) picked off a pass, and Brian Gwaltney (Colonial Heights, VA/Colonial Heights) recovered a fumble that Griffin Davis (Charlottesville, VA/William and Mary) forced.

The Tigers will return to action next Saturday, November 5 as they travel to Winchester to face the Hornets of Shenandoah. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM.

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