TIGERVILLE, SC- North Greenville University's offense exploded for 56 points and 582 yards as the Crusaders downed the Malone College Pioneers 56-28 to win the National Christian College Athletic Association's 2006 Victory Bowl. The game was the first college football bowl game ever to be played in the Palmetto State. The win gives the Crusaders a school record ten wins in 2006.
North Greenville sophomore running back Matt Moore was named Offensive Player of the Game. Moore rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries. Crusader defensive end Andre Bernardi took the Defensive Player of the Game honors with seven total tackles, including a remarkable four sacks for a loss of 28 yards. All four sacks came in the first half.
Running back Rashad Cummings added 127 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries for the Crusaders. Quarterback Eric Moeller completed 12 of 19 passes for 174 yards and four touchdowns. Four of those passes were caught by Travis Talbert. Talbert finished with 135 yards receiving, 56 yards rushing, and one touchdown.
The Pioneers were led by quarterback Brad Reifsnyder, who completed 34 of 47 pass attempts for 359 yards and three touchdowns. Bernard Payton was Reifsnyder's favorite target, catching 8 passes for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns. Payton also rushed 14 times for 58 yards.
Defensively, North Greenville was led by Bernardi and Josh Williams. Williams led all tacklers with 15 total tackles, including eight solo tackles. Derek White added 10 total tackles, including five solos, 1.5 tackles for a loss, a half sack, and one interception.
North Greenville lit up the scoreboard on their first possession on a 6-yard run by Cummings. Escalona added the PAT to give the Crusaders the early 7-0 lead. The score was set up by White's interception at the Malone 29-yard line on the first play from scrimmage. Moore scored the next two touchdowns of the game from 34 and 57 yards out. Escalona converted on two PAT attempts to give NGU the 21-0 advantage.
Sean Knight put the Pioneers on the board with 3:41 remaining in the first half with a touchdown run from three yards away. Mike Skvor-s PAT made the score 21-7.
The Crusaders would score once more before halftime. Coach Mike Taylor sent in his power set and ran a play action pass to the right side. Moeller connected with Josh Johnson, who normally plays defensive end, on a 4-yard pass for the score. NGU took a 28-7 lead to the locker room at halftime.
North Greenville took the opening possession of the second half 65 yards in nine plays. Moeller capped the drive with a 4-yard strike to Brandon Dobbins on another play action pass. Escalona's PAT gave the Crusaders a 35-7 lead.
Payton would score next for Malone on a 10-yard pass from Reifsnyder to make the game 35-14. The Crusaders answered the score with a bang. Travis Talbert took a screen pass from Moeller 82 yards to the end zone.
Mike Clapham closed out the third quarter with a 6-yard touchdown reception from Reifsnyder to cap an 8-play, 55-yard drive. Skvor's kick made the score 42-21.
North Greenville added seven more points when Moeller connected with Joseph Rowe for a 6-yard touchdown pass. Malone answered on their next possession, scoring from nine yards out on a pass from Reifsnyder to Payton.
Matt Moore rounded out the scoring with a 6-yard score with four minutes remaining in the game. Escalona's PAT made the score its final of 56-28.
North Greenville improves to 10-2, while the Pioneers fall to 7-4.