Tigerville, S.C—Ashton Heard's school record 314-yards on the ground and two touchdowns helped lead the North Greenville Crusaders to a 35-24 homecoming win over Tusculum College, Saturday afternoon in Younts Stadium.
Hughes tied the career record for touchdowns with his 66th career touchdown toss. The Crusaders sprinted out of the game in the first quarter as Heard took the first play from scrimmage 68-yards for a touchdown. NGU would hold a 6-0 lead after a missed extra point.
Ben Kramm would tack on an NGU field goal later in the quarter to make the score 9-0 before the Pioneers finally found pay dirt. Cameron Thomas would put Tusculum on the board with a 54-yard interception return to cut NGU's lead to two. The interception broke Hughes' streak of 150 pass attempts without an interception while making the score 9-7.
Ashton Heard would score again in North Greenville's next drive as he punched in his second score of the half. The 49-yard scamper would be his sixth rushing touchdown of the season, extending the lead to 13-9. Heard finished the first half with 218-yards on the ground, 11 yards from tying the NCAA Division II first half rushing record.
NGU's passing game would get fired up in the second quarter when Nelson Hughes would find Mason Sanders in the north end zone for the first touchdown pass and catch of the game. A 54-yard rushing touchdown run from Isaac Robinson for Tusculum and two NGU field goals from Ben Kramm would make the score 28-14 at intermission.
The Pioneers would creep closer in the third quarter with a 39-yard field goal to make the score 28-17 in favor of North Greenville. The Tusculum field goal was the first points of the second half and came with 12:05 left in the third quarter. North Greenville would score its only touchdown of the second half eight minutes later. The Hughes to Sanders connection would strike once more, this time from seven yards out to cap a 53-yard drive.
Tusculum would score the only touchdown of the fourth quarter to cut NGU's lead to 35-24 leaving 4:58 left on the game clock. The Crusaders would melt the clock away in the fourth quarter with two rushing first downs on the back of Simeon Byrd. The Crusaders finished with 408 yards on the ground and 141 through the air. It is the fourth week in a row the NGU offense compiled at least 400-yards and second of four weeks with 500 or more.
North Greenville's defense also put together its fourth solid performance of the in a row. The Black Swarm held the Pioneers to 310 total yards. The Crusaders picked off three Tusculum passes and recovered two fumbles. Tony Godbolt spearheaded the North Greenville defense with seven total tackles (1 tackle for loss) while forcing a fumble and intercepting one pass. Sam Houston led in the tackle category with eight.
The Crusaders extended their winning streak to four games. It is also NGU's fourth win in five meetings with the Pioneers. NGU, now 5-2 on the season will host the University of God's Chosen next weekend in a 1pm matchup in Tigerville.