Crusaders edged by Catamounts in first ever meeting

September 14, 20191st2nd3rd4thFinal
North Greenville0710017
Western Carolina337720
1st Quarter
WCUFG10:30R. McCollum 25 Yd
2nd Quarter
NGUTD01:14H. Hilton (M. Gravely kick)
WCUFG00:04R. McCollum 33 Yd
3rd Quarter
NGUFG09:33M. Gravely 26 Yd
WCUTD05:42Will Jones 6 Yd Run (R. McCollum kick)
NGUTD04:20K. Belack 72 Yd Pass From L. Johnson (M. Gravely kick)
4th Quarter
WCUTD05:04Clayton Bardall 6 Yd Pass From Will Jones (Julian Pletz kick)
Stats at a GlanceNGUWCU
1st Downs1122
3rd Down Conversions4-145-15
4th Down Conversions0-21-2
Passing (Comp-Att)78 (3-17) 207 (27-37)
Rushing (Att)126 (40) 138 (39)
Total Yards204345
Fumbles Lost00
Crusaders edged by Catamounts in first ever meeting
Saturday, September 14, 2019
Crusaders edged by Catamounts in first ever meeting

Cullowhee, N.C. – North Greenville held serve late in the fourth quarter but a score by Western and a pair of defensive stands lifted the Division I Catamounts to a 20-17 win over North Greenville.

A quick field goal from the Catamounts put the Crusaders in an early hole. The lead for Western would last until late in the second quarter. A Chauncy Haney sack forced a WC punt which quickly spelled trouble for the home-standing SoCon squad after Harold Hilton returned it 72-yards for a touchdown to give NGU the 7-3 lead. It was the first punt return of Hilton’s career.

Western Carolina tacked on a field goal before half, a kick which was tipped by NGU but ricocheted off the cross-bar to make it 7-6. NGU finished with 51-yards in the first half compared to 181-yards for WCU. Chauncy Haney blocked a field goal for NGU as the special teams partnered with the defense to keep it close.

A field goal from NGU to open the third quarter and a touchdown on Western’s ensuing drive would make 13-10 in favor of the Catamounts. The Crusaders quickly countered on their next drive as London Johnson hit Kyle Belack on a 72-yard strike, making it 17-13 with 4:20 left in the third frame.

North Greenville limited the Western Carolina offense for the rest of the third quarter and much of the fourth. A fourth-down conversion on the NGU 13-yard line with the just over five minutes left gave the Catamounts life as they would go on to score the go-ahead score. Will Jones found Clayton Bardall from six yards out to put WCU back in front.

North Greenville had two chances late to re-take the lead. A drive which started at 4:59 ended in a punt while the final drive of the game for the Crusaders resulted in four incompletions. The Catamounts took over and ran down the clock to finish off the non-conference victory.

North Greenville finished with 204-yards on offense while Western finished with 345-yards while running 76-plays. Kyle Belack led North Greenville’s receivers with 81-yards and a touchdown. Semaj Lakin and Jarvion Miller-Norman led the Crusaders rushing with 42-yards each.

Defensively Johnny Worthy led with 11-tackles total. Chauncy Haney finished with a team-high two sacks to go along with seven tackles. He also forced a fumble and was credited with a blocked field goal. Jacob Stone also had a sack as the Crusaders finished with four on the night.

Next Up

North Greenville opens Gulf South Conference play, traveling to Mississippi to take on Mississippi College next weekend at 7 PM central.