Wingate, N.C.—Nelson Hughes broke the school record for touchdowns in a career while the NGU defense came up with big plays late in the game, helping North Greenville to a 27-21 win over Wingate University.
North Greenville has had Wingate's number as of late, wining the last five meetings between the two squads dating back to 2009. NGU's margin of victory during the streak has been 17 points.
The two teams remained tied at 14-14 late into the second quarter. NGU held the ball for the final drive of the half but an interception from Nelson Hughes would lead to a Wingate touchdown, giving the Bulldogs a 21-14 lead at halftime. Hughes first touchdown of the game came in the form of a reception, as Tyrecous Garrett found him on a reverse pass from seven yards out, while Ashton heard rushed for another touchdown, accounting for North Greenville's two first half scores.
North Greenville took advantage of its first possession of the second half, putting together a 13-play scoring drive. The Crusaders marched 65-yards and ate up just over seven minutes of the clock as Hughes hooked up with Demajiay Rooks for his first touchdown toss of the game.
North Greenville's defense would step up next for the Crusaders as Jeremy Massey intercepted a Kyle Johnson inside the NGU red zone to hold the Bulldogs scoreless in the third quarter. NGU's defense would come up with two more big stops in the fourth quarter, denying the Bulldogs a fourth down conversion attempt on its own 27 yard line for one, and coming up with a second interception as KJ McDonald picked his third pass of the season, following a North Greenville turnover for the second.
The go ahead touchdown came less than one minute into the final quarter as Nelson Hughes found Mason Sanders for a 16-yard hookup in the end zone. Hughes finished with 252-yards through the air and two touchdowns on 20 attempts to go along with his receiving touchdown. He finished the day with 68 career TD passes.
North Greenville would run the clock on the final drive of the game, wasting away the last two minutes and 51 seconds. Perhaps the biggest play of the game came on fourth down when Nelson Hughes hit Tyrell Hillary on a nine-yard pass play, resulting in a first down. The first down allowed NGU to hold onto the ball for the final minute of play.
Ashton Heard carried the ball three times on the final drive for eight yards, giving him 105 for the game with a touchdown. Hughes was 2-2 through the air including the fourth down conversion. Rooks led the NGU receivers with 73-yards on six receptions and a touchdown while Hillary finished with 63-yards. Mason Sanders had a receiving touchdown and 58-yards.
The Bulldogs finished the game with 374-yards and two turnovers, both in the form of interceptions. Sam Houston led the charge with nine total tackles while Tony Godbolt and Taylor Anderson had eight. Anthony Blair recorded a sack for North Greenville and two tackles for a loss.
North Greenville improves to 7-2 on the season while the Bulldogs dropped to 6-3. The Crusaders will take on Carson Newman next Saturday in Jefferson, Tennessee in a game which could have playoff seeding implications. The Crusaders and Eagles will kickoff at 1pm.