Clinton, SC – Division I Presbyterian blocked a game tying field goal with 8:34 left in the game and CeeJay Harris picked up the loose ball and carried it 65 yards for the go-ahead touchdown that broke open a tight game as the Blue Hose went on to beat North Greenville 38-21 at Bailey Memorial Stadium.
Presbyterian got on the scoreboard quickly as they went 80 yards on seven plays on its opening drive, culminated by a 27 yard touchdown run by Seth Moreland.
Freshman transfer Cedric Proctor returned the Blue Hose kickoff 69 yards and Willy Korn hit Freddie Martino from 22 yards out on a dazzling catch just inside the goal line for NGU’s first touchdown that evened the score. North Greenville took the lead six minutes later when Korn hit Harold Small in the back of the end zone from 26 yards out in a hot first quarter. PC countered with a nine play 67 yard drive and tied the game at 14-14 on Ryan Singer’s three yard plunge.
Presbyterian avoided a tie at half time when they faked a field goal on 4th and three when holder Derrick Overholt found a wide open Joey Gilkey in the end zone for a nine yard TD that put the Blue Hose up 21-14 at the half.
The Hose extended their lead with a Jeremy Tommie 35 yard field goal at 10:06 in the third. The third quarter was a defensive battle between the larger Division I program and the Crusaders. However, NGU bounced back when Marcus Wilson rushed for 29 yards to the PC eight, and senior quarterback Willy Korn bulled his way in on the next play. Justin Gravely’s kick made it 24-21 at the end of the third.
North Greenville’s defense repeatedly thwarted PC drives and with 11:23 left in the game, behind the rushing of Teryan Rucker and Wilson, Korn marched NGU to the PC 22. The Crusaders were stopped by the Blue Hose and Gravely’s lined up for the game-tying kick. The kick was slapped down and Harris picked up the loose ball and only had to beat Gravely to the end zone.
PC picked off Korn for the second time on the next series, and Lance Byrd dashed in from 16 yards out with 6:05 left for a touchdown that put it out of reach for NGU.
North Greenville saw its nine-game winning streak stopped, which ironically began last season when the Crusaders defeated PC.
“Presbyterian did an outstanding job by taking away a lot of things we wanted to do,” Chadwell said. “We executed our offense early and we got some things going, but could never get consistent. We made some turnovers again and they made some big plays with their kicking game, and that always hurts you.”
“They just beat us,” he added. “We didn’t play our best which is unfortunate, but they were better than us today. They were ready to play. There was no sneaking up on them this year. PC is a Division I program and you’re not expected to beat them anyway. Ultimately, that wasn’t one of our goals and all those are still ahead of us. We’ll go back to work on Monday and get us ready to have a chance to achieve next weekend.”
“We had our chances and you can’t blame it on the missed field goal. We had a lot of other chances, but we just didn’t make things happen when we needed to. We didn’t come out with the same excitement as we had against Newberry last week. That’s something we can’t let happen again as a coaching staff. We’ve been there before, and as coaches we have to be better than that. But, we were still close to tying the game with eight minutes to go. We’ll get better and learn from it.”
“I’m always proud of our guys. They take the meaning of ‘Strike the Stone’ every day and even when it looks like it’s over, they keep fighting. They did fight. You always want to learn from a win rather than a loss, but that’s the first loss this team has had in 10 games. That is a feeling we haven’t had in a long time, but sometimes you have to go through some pain and adversity. That’s what the good Lord tells us to do to draw him closer to Him. I’m looking forward to being at home!
NGU will host its first home game next Saturday, Sept. 17 when South Atlantic Conference opponent Tusculum (TN) comes to Younts Stadium for a 7:00 p.m. contest. The game will be broadcast live by WMYA Channel 13, an ABC out of Asheville, NC.