Weather Mars Crusader Loss To Wofford
Spartanburg, SC – In a game much closer than the score would suggest, North Greenville dropped a messy, rain-delayed 42-27 loss to the Terriers of Division I FCS Wofford College on Saturday night.
After the Crusader defense forced Wofford into a three-and-out on their first drive of the game, the North Greenville offense quickly drove down the field on an eight-play, 70-yard scoring drive. The Crusaders were put on the board when freshman Mason Sanders recorded the first touchdown grab of his young career on a 22-yard pass from junior quarterback Nelson Hughes.
Wofford would use an 11-play, 90-yard drive to even the score at 7-7 on their next series before forcing an interception in the end zone to get the ball back on their own 20-yard line. A penalty would push the Terriers back five yards before quarterback Evan Jacks connected with receiver Will Irwin on an 85-yard touchdown pass to go ahead 14-7 as the first quarter came to a close.
On North Greenville’s ensuing drive the Crusaders ended a 12-play, 62-yard drive with a 33-yard field goal from senior Justin Gravely to cut into the Wofford lead before the game’s first weather delay cleared the stadium and stalled play on the field.
Once play was resumed, the Crusader defense forced a turnover on downs to give the offense the ball on their own 19-yard line. Hughes once again engineered a lengthy scoring drive, this time a seven-play, 81 yard march that ended with a 39-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Robbie Brown as North Greenville gained a 17-14 lead heading into the halftime break.
North Greenville’s first drive of the second half ended abruptly with an interception by the Terriers, setting up a short field for the Wofford offense, who gained a 21-17 advantage on a nine-yard run by Irwin.
The Crusaders responded with another scoring drive of their own, ending on a 40-yard field goal from Gravely, to cut the lead to 21-20 in favor of Wofford before the second severe weather delay of the game once again forced the teams into their respective locker rooms.
The Terriers responded from the long break with 21 unanswered points as their bruising running game scored three straight touchdowns in the pouring rain. North Greenville added its final score of the game on a one-yard rush by Hughes before the Gibbs Stadium lights turned off and the game was called with 1:38 left on the clock.
The North Greenville offense was once again on fire, totaling 447 yards on 67 plays, but three turnovers proved to be a heavy deficit to overcome.
Hughes led the charge, completing 33-of-43 pass attempts for 370 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 15 yards and a score. Brown continued his hot start to the season with 13 receptions for 191 yards and a touchdown, while Sanders totaled 65 yards on four receptions with a score in his first career start.
Junior linebacker Taylor Anderson led the defensive effort for North Greenville, totaling 12 tackles in the game. Sophomore linebacker Quan Weeks finished with a career-high seven tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, while fellow sophomore Shaquan Burney also totaled seven tackles with one tackle for a loss and a sack. Sophomore linebacker Sam Houston recorded six tackles as freshman lineman Anthony Blair finished with five tackles, two tackles for loss and two sacks in the game.
The Crusaders (1-1) will open up South Atlantic Conference Alliance play next Saturday, Sept. 20 when they travel to Greeneville, TN for a 7 pm matchup with Tusculum College.