Tigerville, S.C. – North Greenville and The Citadel combined for 971-yards of total offense on Thursday night as the Bulldogs left Younts Stadium with a 38-14 win in the first ever meeting between the two schools.
The Crusaders hosted the Citadel in an impromptu home game after the Bulldogs were forced to evacuate Charleston due to the threat of Hurricane Matthew. The only college football game in the state today pulled quite a following as 5,400 fans packed Younts Stadium, setting a new attendance record.
The Citadel flexed its muscle early on, driving 76-yards on 13-plays. The Bulldogs picked up a first down inside the North Greenville 10, eventually reaching the two yard-line, but NGU’s bowed its back, halting the drive on fourth down as the Bulldogs failed to convert from the one-yard line.
North Greenville’s offense wasted no time taking advantage of the turnover, striking on the second play as Will Hunter hooked up with Javon Smith for a 99-yard strike to give North Greenville the 7-0 lead following the extra point.
The Bulldogs offense regrouped on its second drive, marching 59-yards on just five plays, including a 19-yard rush by Cam Jackson down to North Greenville’s 33 with an NGU personal foul to cap the play, moving the Bulldogs inside the 20. The Bulldogs would score one play later in a 17-yard from Reggie Williams.
The first quarter would come to a close with the scored tied at 7-7 but The Citadel would take its first lead of the game three plays into the second quarter as Rod Johnson scampered for 49-yards to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead. Williams finished the night with 89-yards on 12-carries with one touchdown.
The Citadel finished the night with 559-total yards on the ground, just under 20-yards away from a school record. Cam Jackson led the charge with 107-yards on just six carries with one touchdown. The Bulldogs also threw for a touchdown as Dominique Allen threw for 40-yards on three completions.
North Greenville wouldn’t find much offense on its ensuing drive as the Bulldogs forced a punt after nine plays for the Crusaders. NGU picked up two first downs on the short drive, but a loss of four-yards on first down and two incomplete passes stalled the Crusaders at their own 37-yardline. The Bulldogs defense kept NGU’s running game in check for much of the game, allowing just 56-yards on 23-attempts. The Citadel also racked up 11-tackles for a loss on Thursday night including three sacks
The Bulldogs would once again find themselves inside NGU territory on their next possession, but a fumble at the NGU nine would give the Crusaders new life. Sam Houston, who was a tackle shy of tying his own record of 19, forced the fumble that was recovered by Tony Godbolt.
North Greenville capitalized one of just two turnovers in the game two plays later as Will Hunter once again found Javon Smith for a 90-yard strike, evening the score at 14-14. Smith finished the night with a school record 240-yards on six receptions. Hunter finished the game with 372-yards through the air, capitalizing on 14 of 31 attempts.
The Citadel found the end zone once more in the first half as Cam Jackson put his team up 21-14 with a 52-yard rush. The Citadel would tack on two more touchdowns in the second half with two scores in the third quarter. A Dominique Allen rushing touchdown and Reggie William’s 30-yard touchdown reception from Allen would give the Bulldogs a 35-14 lead. The Bulldogs would tack on a fourth quarter field goal to take the 38-14 advantage.
The Citadel improved to 5-0 on the season while NGU fell to 3-3. The Bulldogs will host league rival Chattanooga next Saturday while North Greenville will travel to Greenville, Tennessee to take on Tusculum College at 2:30pm.