HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA – Hampden-Sydney (1-2, 1-0) Football exploded for 35 points in the second half to defeat Emory & Henry College (2-1, 1-1) 56-27 on Saturday afternoon in ODAC action.
Defense ruled on the first two drives as the two squads combined for just eight yards on eight plays. The Wasps started their next drive with a short field, needing just six plays to go 41 yards for a three-yard Sam Wagner rushing touchdown at 9:48 to go ahead 7-0.
Hampden-Sydney responded on their next drive. Aided by two 20+ yard completions from Alec Cobb to Major Morgan and Blake Page, Cobb would go on to punch it in on a QB sneak on the 12th play of the drive to tie the game with 6:12 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers defense held strong again on the Wasps next possession, forcing a punt after allowing just 18 yards in four plays, but H-SC had to start the drive on their own 17-yard line. Facing third and 10 on their own 28, Cobb connected with Morgan for 32 yards and down to the Wasps 40. Six plays later, the duo found the sweet spot again for a 21-yard touchdown catch with 23 seconds left in the first quarter to go ahead 14-7.
The Tigers forced a three and out on the Wasps ensuing drive, but on the Tigers second play of their possession, Tyler Redmond forced a fumble and recovered it following a 51-yard completion to Ed Newman. With a first and 10 on their own 41, the Wasps Hunter Taylor found Jesse Santiago deep for 56 yards and then Taylor ran it in from three yards out on the next play to draw E&H even at 14-14 with 11:46 on the clock in the second quarter.
Following consecutive punts, Kaleb Smith put his high school quarterback skills to good use on the Tiger's next possession when Blake Page reeled in a one-handed, 30-yard catch off a Smith pass to put the Tigers on the E&H five-yard line. On the next play, Smith took a shovel pass from Cobb and ran it in from the left end to put the Tigers back on top 21-14.
The H-SC linebackers caused havoc on the following E&H drive, accounting for two sacks, two fumbles, and several QB hits and pressures. Riggs Jordan accounted for the first sack and forced fumble on the second play of the drive, but Chad Vanlandingham crushed Taylor for the sack and fumble that John Kline recovered at the H-SC 35 with 2:37 left in the half. H-SC couldn't capitalize on the offensive end, but the defense held serve with a three and out and the clock ran out on the Wasps last possession of the half.
After H-SC elected to defer after winning the coin toss, the Tigers received the ball to start the second half and the offense put the pedal to the metal on their drive. H-SC needed just five plays and 1:29 of playing time to find pay dirt. After consecutive passes of 13 and 17 yards, Cobb hit Smith for a catch and run that appeared to be a touchdown, but H-SC was whistled for a facemask at the E&H two-yard line that put the ball back to the E&H 17. The penalty proved to be no problem as Cobb found Morgan in the back-right corner of the end zone for six points and a 28-14 lead after the extra point.
The Tiger defense brought their end of half momentum into the third quarter and allowed just one yard on six plays with two three and outs on the Wasps next two drives. Hampden-Sydney took 10 plays and 3:57 of action to march 68 yards down the field for a Smith one-yard rushing TD on 4th down, providing H-SC with a 35-14 advantage with 6:15 remaining in the third.
Assisted by two completions of 20+ yards to Derrick Yates, Emory & Henry was able to get back on track on their next drive when Taylor fed Yates a 22-yard touchdown pass at 3:52.
Hampden-Sydney erased the Wasps score when, after two big pass plays from Cobb to Morgan, Brandon Smith came into the game and reeled in an 11-yard touchdown catch with 1:03 left in the third quarter.
Six plays later, Hunter Carr intercepted Taylor on the E&H 40 and Smith would run it in from 15 yards out three minutes into the fourth quarter to push the lead out to 49-21. On the Wasps next play from scrimmage, Taylor was picked off again was Brendan Weinberg corralled the pass and returned it seven yards to the E&H 23. Just over three minutes later, Cobb found Page in the end zone for another touchdown at the 8:32 mark.
Emory & Henry finished out the scoring for the day on a 12-play drive that ended in a one-yard rushing TD from Robert Henesey. The extra point was missed, providing the final score of 56-27.
Alec Cobb, who set a career-high for passing yards of 448 last year at Emory & Henry, set a new career-high today with 519 yards. He tossed for five passing touchdowns and ran one in for five total scores on the day. The 519 yards are the second most in school history and the seventh highest in ODAC history.
Kaleb Smith showed off his all-around versatility, accounting for 209 yards, 30 in the passing game, 69 on the ground, and 110 on 11 catches. He totaled three touchdowns, two running and one receiving.
Major Morgan had 11 reception for 181 yards and two scores. Blake Page gave the Tigers three 100-yard receivers on the afternoon with 109 yards, eight catches, and one TD. Ed Newman added on 75 yards on three catches.
Griffin Davis and Chad Vanlandingham tied for the team lead with seven tackles while Vanlandingham contributed three tackles for loss, two sacks, and one forced fumble. Riggs Jordan recorded four stops and a forced fumble while Phil Pullen totaled four tackles and one for a loss.
Jesse Santiago picked up five catches for 125 yards for the Wasps while Hunter Taylor had 212 passing yards with a TD in the air and on the ground. Cecil Parham tacked on a game-high 11 tackles with one for loss while Levi Peters added eight tackles. Tyler Redmond contributed seven solo stops with a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
Hampden-Sydney racked up 633 yards of total offense while Emory & Henry totaled 321. The Tigers averaged 7.0 yards per play and held E&H to a 4.5 average. H-SC had more than double the number of passing yards, 549 to 250. The Tigers also led in the run game 84-71.
Hampden-Sydney recorded five sacks along with three pass breakups and eight tackles for loss. The defense also forced three fumbles, with one recovered, and two interceptions.
Hampden-Sydney heads north to Winchester, VA next Saturday for a 1 pm kickoff at Shenandoah University.