Tigerville, S.C.—Nelson Hughes threw for four touchdowns and ran for another in North Greenville's 40-17 route of UNC Pembroke, Saturday in Tigerville.
Hughes finished with 291 yards on 15 completions against the Braves defense, connecting for two touchdowns to each Robbie Brown and Tyrell Hillary. Brown finished the game with six receptions for 117 yards to lead all receivers while Hillary had 71 yards on three receptions.
North Greenville broke the scoreless tie with 8:13 left in the first quarter as Hughes found Robbie Brown in the end zone for Brown's first touchdown reception of the season. The point after would sail wide left, leaving NGU with a 6-0 lead. Hughes and Brown would hook-up once more in the first quarter, extending the NGU lead to 12-0. Hughes would then find Mason Sanders in the back corner for a two-point conversion to make the score 14-0.
North Greenville wrapped up the first quarter with a third touchdown as Ashton Heard scampered in from three yards out to extend the lead to 20. Heard finished the game with 143 yards rushing on 16 carries. He also had two receptions for 60 yards out of the backfield. The Crusaders would pile on two more touchdowns in the first half as Hughes would rush for one and pass for one, hooking up with Hillary for the first time, earning NGU a 34-0 lead as the team's headed in for intermission.
North Greenville's offensive performance was helped by the NGU defense which pitched a shutout in the first 30-minutes of play. The NGU defenders held the Braves to 101 yards of total offense in the first half while picking off one UNCP pass. Sam Houston registered eight tackles from his middle linebacker spot, as the Braves were held to just 32-yards on the ground and 69 through the air.
Dylan Davis broke up the shutout in the third quarter for the Braves as UNCP quarterback Patrick O'Brien for a five-yard touchdown to cut into the deficit. North Greenville answered with 26-yard strike from Hughes to Hillary for NGU's final score of the game extending the lead to 40-7. The Braves would tack on two more scores in the fourth-quarter but the NGU defense forced a punt and NGU ran out the clock to improve the Crusaders to 2-2.
North Greenville finished with a season high 514-yards of offense, 305 of it through the air. The Braves finished with 264-yards, a majority of which came in the passing game. The Crusaders held the Braves to just 42-yards on the ground and 14-first down. Houston finished 13-tackles while Taylor Anderson had eight stops and an interception.
North Greenville will travel to Mars Hill University next Saturday to take on the Lions in a 1:30 pm kickoff.