It proved to be long day for the Crusader faithful as the Wingate Bulldogs came to Younts Stadium to take on the North Greenville Crusaders. Both teams employ a strong rushing attack, and many expected this game to be a battle of the ground games. However, while the Bulldogs amassed 243 yards rushing, the Crusaders only managed 72 yards in the 44-7 loss.
The first twenty-three minutes were a defensive showcase as neither team could get on the board. Wingate missed a pair of field goal attempts in the first half, but lit up the scoreboard first with 6:22 remaining in the half on a 29-yard Brandon Boone touchdown pass to Dan Brooks. Boone would hook up with Brooks again with 2:31 remaining in the half on a 14-yard touchdown pass. Boone then connected on a 4-yard pass to Bobo Thompson with only 9 seconds to go in the first half. All three PATs failed.
Bulldog standout running back Rip Smith went down in the second quarter with a strained ligament in the knee, but Senior Marvin McClain stepped in and rushed for 111 yards on 14 carries with touchdown runs of 3 and 31 yards. The lone Crusader score came at the 13:48 mark in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard Rashad Cummings run. The Bulldogs would tack on one more touchdown with 10:01 left in the game on a 1-yard Jamie Lilly run.
Crusader linebacker Isaac Tate had another strong showing on defense with seven solo tackles and two assists. Chris Gaddist also had a productive game with four solos and nine assists.
Wingate remains undefeated with a 3-0 record, while the Crusaders are still looking for their first win and fall to 0-3. The Crusaders will be in action next Saturday at Pikeville College with kickoff slated for 6:00 p.m.