Cruaders hold on for 44-34 win at Kentucky Wesleyan
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Cruaders hold on for 44-34 win at Kentucky Wesleyan
Travis Talbert caught 6 passes for 136 yards and one TD in 44-34 win

OWENSBORO, KY- North Greenville University amassed 560 yards and scored six touchdowns as they defeated Kentucky Wesleyan College 44-34 in NCAA Division II action Saturday afternoon at Steele Stadium.

Quarterback Eric Moeller completed 20 of 31 passes for 293 yards and one touchdown for the Crusaders. Travis Talbert was responsible for 136 of those yards on six receptions and one touchdown. Brandon Dobbins hauled in 103 yards receiving on six catches as well. Rashad Cummings led North Greenville with 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 18 carries.

Ward Tanner led the Panthers with 260 yards and 3 touchdowns on 17 of 44 passing. DeMarcus Ganaway and Demetrice Jefferson both topped the 100-yard rushing mark for KWC.

Defensively, North Greenville was led by Josh Williams and Andre Bernardi who each had six total tackles. Bernardi also recorded two tackles for a loss.

Matt Moore started off the scoring for the Crusaders on a 34-yard run at the 8:56 mark in the first quarter. The play capped a 6-play, 58-yard drive. Adrian Escalona added the PAT to give NGU an early 7-0 advantage. Less than one minute later, after a Panther fumble, Cummings added a touchdown for North Greenville on a 7-yard dash. Escalona’s PAT made the score 14-0 with 8:03 remaining in the first quarter.

Escalona got on the board for three more points at the 3:35 mark with a 31-yard field goal. The Crusader defense held Kentucky Wesleyan again, and then Moeller found Talbert across the middle for a 36-yard touchdown strike. Escalona’s PAT gave the Crusaders a 24-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw considerably less scoring. North Greenville’s lone score of the quarter came on a 36-yard punt return by Josh Williams. Escalona added the PAT to extend the Crusader lead to 31-0.

To close the first half, Kentucky Wesleyan capped a 6-play, 32-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run by T.J. Martin. Brandon Hodnett’ PAT made the score 31-7 at halftime.

Fumbles plagued the Crusader offense in the second half. In the third quarter, NGU inserted defensive lineman Ken Floyd into the backfield in a goal line set, but Floyd mishandled a handoff and the Panthers recovered the fumble. The Crusader defense stopped Kentucky Wesleyan’s offensive attack, but when NGU got the ball back, Moeller fumbled in his own end zone and Brent Nicholas recovered for a Panther touchdown. Hodnett’s PAT cut the Crusader lead to 31-14.

The Panthers cut further into the lead on a 19-yard touchdown strike from Ward to Vance Woods with 11:54 left in the game. Hodnett’s PAT made the score 31-21.

Two possessions later, Moeller hit Brandon Dobbins for a 31-yard strike to the Panther 1-yard line. But two plays later, another fumble ruined NGU’s chance of scoring a touchdown. However, North Greenville’s defense forced a three and out by the Panthers and the Crusaders regained possession. Talbert then took a reverse 36 yards around the left end to the end zone to provide a little insurance for North Greenville. A failed PAT attempt kept the score at 37-21 with 6:59 to play.

Kentucky Wesleyan scored again on another Ward touchdown pass, this one 39 yards to Demetrice Jefferson. Hodnett added the PAT.

Cummings scored his second touchdown of the game on a 27-yard run with 4:40 remaining in the game to give NGU a 44-27 advantage. Woods rounded out the scoring for the Panthers with his second touchdown of the day on a 39-yard pass from Ward to make the score its final of 44-34.

North Greenville improves to 5-2, while the Panthers fall to 0-8. The Crusaders return to Younts Stadium next Saturday for a Homecoming match-up against Chowan College. Kickoff is slated for 2:00 p.m.