GREENSBORO, N.C. – Junior RB Cole Becker/Spring Lake, N.C. ran for a game-high and career-high 172 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn't enough as Hampden-Sydney College dropped a hard-fought 37-27 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football decision on the road at Guilford College on Saturday afternoon in Greensboro, North Carolina. Senior QB Austin Murphy/Melfa, making his first collegiate start, passed for a game-high 192 yards and one touchdown for the visiting Tigers (1-7, 0-6), while junior PK Rhett Andersen/Poquoson kicked a school-record 49-yard field goal, and senior captain and WR Major Morgan/Onancock caught his first touchdown pass of the season. The host Quakers (2-5, 1-4) combined to pass for 208 yards and four touchdowns, adding a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Jermaine Russell, as well.
GC scored the first two touchdowns of the game, including an eight-yard scoring pass from Derrien Phillips to Russell at 11:38 of the first quarter, and a five-yard scoring pass from Deven Williams to Tre Alexander at 11:44 of the second quarter. Harrison Kiser added the two PATs for the early 14-0 advantage.
H-SC got on the scoreboard with a pair of field goals from Andersen, the first from 33 yards at 7:33 of the second quarter, before the new record kick from 49 yards at 4:07 of the quarter. The 49-yard effort surpasses his own record and previous best of 48 yards made earlier this season against Averett on September 7 at Lewis C. Everett Stadium.
The two field goals made it 14-6, only to witness the Quakers add another touchdown on the final play of the first half when Teddy Gassert connected with Alexander for a 60-yard scoring pass play. The PAT by Kiser made it 21-6 at the intermission.
GC added a 29-yard field goal by Kiser at 12:40 of the third quarter to lead 24-6. The Tigers were able to score their first touchdown of the game later in the quarter at 6:13 when Murphy found Morgan for a 10-yard scoring pass, the first touchdown reception of the season for Morgan, who now has 26 career touchdown receptions to rank fifth all-time at the College. It capped a 13-play, 73-yard drive that featured Becker running for 45 yards on seven carries.
The Quakers, however, answered back immediately as Russell took the ensuing kickoff back 98 yards for another touchdown. A two-point conversion attempt resulted in a fumble, leaving the score at 30-13 with 5:59 left in the third quarter.
H-SC closed the third quarter with an 18-play, 90-yard drive that culminated with a one-yard scoring run from Becker on the final play of the quarter. Andersen added the PAT to reduce the deficit to 30-20 after three quarters. Becker ran for 69 yards on 11 carries during the extended and near length-of-the-field possession.
The Tigers put together a 12-play, 68-yard drive in the fourth quarter that found the end zone again, this time on a two-yard scoring run by Becker with 7:44 remaining. The PAT by Andersen made it a three-point game at 30-27. Becker accounted for 23 yards on eight carries, while Murphy added two big pass plays, including a 21-yard toss to junior TE Tucker Moore/Evington on third and eight, and a 17-yard completion to junior WR Nick Kallivokas/Purcellville.
Unfortunately, the two teams traded punts before GC added the final touchdown on a 50-yard scoring pass from Gassert to Russell with 3:23 left to play. The PAT by Kiser made it 37-27, and H-SC turned the ball over on downs, before the Quakers ran out the final 2:14 of the contest.
Murphy passed for 192 yards (24-45) and one touchdown with one interception. Becker finished with 172 yards rushing on a career-high 35 carries and two touchdowns. Junior WR Dillon Costello/Haymarket had nine receptions for 58 yards, while Morgan added five catches for 33 yards and one touchdown.
GC had three individuals combine to pass for 208 yards (13-24) and four touchdowns with one interception—Gassert had 131 yards (4-10) and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Desmond McDowell had 96 yards rushing on 16 carries. Russell finished with 82 yards receiving on six catches and two touchdowns, adding the 98-yard kickoff return touchdown, while Alexander added two receptions for 65 yards and two touchdowns.
Khayree Lundy had a game-high 12 tackles, including two for loss and one sack, while Ty Walker had eight tackles, including one for loss and one sack, as well.
H-SC has a bye week next weekend (November 2), before returning to action during week 10 at home when ODAC member Ferrum College visits on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 1 p.m. on Fulton Field at Lewis C. Everett Stadium.