Crusaders edged by Division I Kennesaw State

September 30, 20171st2nd3rd4thFinal
North Greenville7971134
Kennesaw State14771038
1st Quarter
NGUTD11:17A. Heard 15 Yd Run (M. Gravely kick)
KSUTD08:27BURKS 1 Yd Run (THOMPSON kick)
2nd Quarter
NGUTD04:19A. Heard 44 Yd Pass From W. Hunter (M. Gravely missed kick)
NGUFG00:00M. Gravely 39 Yd
3rd Quarter
KSUTD02:27DAVID 1 Yd Run (THOMPSON kick)
NGUTD00:24C. Bruce 9 Yd Pass From W. Hunter (M. Gravely kick)
4th Quarter
NGUFG11:38M. Gravely 27 Yd
NGUTD05:04Ro. Brown 33 Yd Pass From W. Hunter
KSUTD00:16BURKS 1 Yd Run (THOMPSON kick)
Stats at a GlanceNGUKSU
1st Downs1821
3rd Down Conversions4-124-11
4th Down Conversions1-11-1
Passing (Comp-Att)300 (23-35) 133 (7-13)
Rushing (Att)47 (26) 315 (54)
Total Yards347448
Fumbles Lost01
Crusaders edged by Division I Kennesaw State
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Crusaders edged by Division I Kennesaw State

Kennesaw, GA—Will Hunter found Robbie Brown in the back of the end zone with five minutes left to give NGU a late lead but the Owls put together a scoring drive late to stave off an upset-minded NGU team 38-34 on Saturday afternoon.

The Basics

  • Score: NGU – 34 / Kennesaw State – 38
  • Location: Kennesaw, Georgia (Fifth Third Bank Field)
  • Records: NGU 3-2 / Kennesaw State 3-1

Quick facts

  • Saturday’s game between the Crusaders and Owls is the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
  • For the second time in two seasons, NGU's offense has thrown for 300-yards against a Division I FCS opponent after doing it last season against the Citadel. 

How it Happened

  • North Greenville showed no effects of intimidation as it took the opening kickoff and drove 70-yards on seven plays to take a quick touchdown advantage as Ashton Heard took it in from 15-yards out.
  • The Owls went on to score the next three touchdowns to put North Greenville in a 21-7 hole with 11-minutes left in the first half. The Owls put together drives of 50, 71, and 69-yards to take the three score lead, eating up almost eight minutes of game clock.
  • North Greenville was able to respond, once again using a big play from Ashton Heard, this time taking a Will Hunter pass 44-yards to paydirt. The extra point was blocked but the Crusaders cut the deficit to just eight points with its second touchdown drive of the day.
  • The Crusaders took over once more in the first half as the defense was able to force the second Owl punt of the day. The offense then marched 52-yards on nine plays, a drive capped by a 39-yard Gravely field goal which cut the Kennesaw State lead to just five at halftime.
  • The Owls struck first in the third quarter as they extended their lead to 28-16. Daniel David capped a 69-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run which was the 15th play of the scoring drive.
  • North Greenville would account for the next two sores that cut Kennesaw’s lead to just five. Christian Bruce’s first touchdown catch of the season made it 28-23 to close out the third quarter.
  • The Crusaders tacked on a field goal a drive later, exploiting an Owls turnover on their ensuing drive. Desmond Williams’ fumble recovery would lead to Gravely’s second kick of the day which made it 28-26 with 11:32 left.
  • Kennesaw State took its next possession 60-yards on six plays but could only manage to kick a field goal, allowing North Greenville to take over, trailing 31-26 with 9:15 left in the game.
  • Will Hunter and the NGU offense, which had taken advantage of shaky secondary play through the first three-quarters of Saturday’s interdivisional matchup, a theme which would hold true on the final drive for the Crusaders.
  • The Big strike came on a fourth and seven play when Hunter found Robbie Brown from 33-yards out. Brown reeled in the deep pass and got a foot down in the back of the end zone for his team-leading third receiving touchdown of the year. Hunter then found Christian Bruce in the back of the same end zone for a two-point conversion to extend the lead to 34-31.
  • Kennesaw’s offense proved too much in the end though, as it drove down the field on its last possession of the game to take the lead 38-34. The Owls capped a 74-yard drive with a Chandler Burks touchdown, a drive which lasted 4:43. The Burks touchdown would prove to be the difference maker as a Kennesaw interception ended the game.

The Good Guys

  • North Greenville finished the game with 347-yards of total offense on Saturday, 300 of which came through the air. Will Hunter accounted for 283 of those yards to go along with three passing touchdowns. Tight end Bobby Foos also threw for 17-yards.
  • Robbie Brown led all receivers with 84-yards and a touchdown while Christian Bruce finished with 47-yards on six receptions and a touchdown.
  • NGU’s defense had three players with double-digit tackles including Brandon Burger who led the team with 12. Eddie Martin finished with 11 while Travis Beatty tacked on 10-stops.
  • Celestin Haba finished the night with a team-high two tackles for a loss while Seth Laughter had three tackles to go along with a forced fumble.

The Other Team

  • Chandler Burks led all rushers with 100-yards on 22-carries and a pair of touchdowns. Shaq Terry finished the day with 67-yards on just two carries.
  • Trey Chivers had the only receiving touchdown for the Owls on his only reception from 26-yards out.
  • The Owls finished with a pair of sacks and two interceptions on defense. Anthony Gore and Taylor Henkle led the team with eight tackles each.

Next Time Out

  • The Crusaders will hit the road for the fourth time this season, taking the show to North Carolina and the land of Cheerwine, taking on Catawba College on October 7th at 1:30 pm.