Gaffney, S.C. – North Greenville’s defense pitched its second shutout of the season while the offense piled on 471-yards of total offense in a 37-0 triumph over Limestone College on Saturday afternoon at the Reservation.
Tracy Scott ran for 156-yards and two touchdowns while Ashton Heard added 84-yards and another touchdown on the ground. Will Hunter sparked the air attack with 193-yards on 13 of 19 passing with a touchdown.
The offenses traded punts on their first drives but NGU got the scoring going on its second drive as Hunter and company drove 70-yards on 12-plays. Hunter capped the drive by hooking up with Javon Smith from the two yard-line, earning NGU the lead.
The seven-point lead would be all NGU needed as the North Greenville’s defense held the Saints to just 219-yards. Limestone finished the first half with just over 90-yards of offense. The Crusaders also forced a Limestone turnover in the first half as a Cam Wrice interception in the end zone ended a 61-yard drive for the Saints. Wrice returned the pick 64-yards, setting up NGU’s offense inside of Limestone territory.
The Crusaders found pay dirt three more times in the half as Heard and Scott scored their first TD’s while Matt Gravely added a field goal, giving the Crusaders a 24-0 lead at halftime. North Greenville stacked up 227-yards of offense in the first half including 107-yards for Scott on the ground.
The Crusaders would tack on a field goal on their first drive of the second half to extend the lead to 27-0. Tony Godbolt would force a fumble on Limestone’s ensuing possession that was recovered by Rashad Miller ending a promising drive by the Saints and giving the Crusaders another possession.
NGU’s offense would be forced to punt after the fumble, but it wouldn’t be long before the Crusaders found the end zone for the first time in the second half. The Crusaders would drive 70-yards on five plays on their next possession, capitalizing on another fumble recovery by the NGU defense. Tracy Scott would capitalize on the defensive effort by Cam Wrice and KJ McDonald with a 22-yard touchdown run to pad NGU’s lead. Gravely’s PAT would give NGU a 34-0 lead with just over a minute left in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter would be scoreless until the final minute of the game when Matt Gravely added his third field goal of the game, a 41-yarder that made the score 37-0. The Saints would get one more crack at breaking up the shutout, but time would run on out the Saints as NGU’s defense secured the win with an impressive showing.
Brandon Burger led the NGU defense with 4.5-tackles on Saturday, one of which was for a loss. Seth Laughter and Anthony Blair spent most of their day in the Limestone backfield, collecting two tackles for a loss each. McDonald and Miller both recorded fumble recoveries while Cam Wrice intercepted his first pass of the season, and of his career at North Greenville.
The Crusaders finish the 2016 season 7-4 after the win over the Saints with hopes of an NCAA Division II playoff birth on the horizon. The Crusaders will learn their post-season fate on Sunday evening at 5pm during the NCAA Division II Selection Show.