Tigerville, SC- The North Greenville Crusaders showed up at Younts Stadium with a resurrected running game and a renewed sense of purpose, but their Division I-AA foe, Charleston Southern held on to win 35-28. The Crusaders, who have struggled on the ground the last few games, gained 182 yards rushing. Senior running back Travis Mosley rushed for 124 of those yards and scored one touchdown on 19 carries. The Crusader air attack also performed well against the Buccaneers, as quarterback Eric Moeller completed 16 of 34 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Crusaders were led by Isaac Tate who made three solo tackles and seven assists. Rafael Bush had a breakout game with three solo tackles, six assists, and a recovered fumble.
Charleston Southern lit up the scoreboard first when quarterback Collin Drafts hooked up with Andre Copeland for 22-yard touchdown pass with 11:44 remaining in the first quarter. North Greenville struck back on their next possession on a 40-yard touchdown run by Travis Mosley with 8:42 in the first quarter. Buccaneer tight end Brian Meers put the CSU up 14-7 with 2:36 remaining in the first quarter by catching a 17-yard touchdown pass from Drafts. Copeland scored again on a 3-yard run with 4:19 left in the second quarter. Trailing 21-7 with nine seconds left in the first half, the Crusaders scored again on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Moeller to Travis Talbert to make the score 21-14 at halftime.
North Greenville scored the lone touchdown of the third quarter on a 10-yard pass from Moeller to Bobby Pittman, and the Crusaders took the lead when Moeller found tight end Jarvis Garrett for a 47-yard touchdown pass. Adrian Escalona would hit his fourth PAT of the game to give the Crusaders a 28-21 lead with 13:16 remaining in the game. The Buccaneers would not lie down, however, and hit a big play when Drafts threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Bryant Burch with 7:58 left in the game.
The big play of the game came at the 6:30 mark. Moeller dropped back to pass and threw to Pittman who reached for the ball, but went off his hands and into the hands of Misher. Two plays later, North Greenville dropped a potential interception in the endzone. On the next play, Drafts completed a 10-yard pass to Meers to set up the winning 2-yard touchdown run by Robert Adams. Adams finished with 124 yards on 22 carries. Nick Ellis added his fifth PAT to round out the scoring and give CSU a 35-28 win.
Travis Talbert caught five passes for 40 yards and a touchdown for the Crusaders. Brandon Dobbins and James Crooks caught three passes each for North Greenville.
North Greenville will host Georgia State October 1 at Younts Stadium at 1:30 p.m.