EMORY, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Football Team moved to 2-0 on the year Saturday afternoon, defeating Maryville (Tenn.) College (1-1) by a 27-21 score at Fred Selfe Stadium. It was the first time since the 2000 season that the Scots visited Southwest Virginia and the third straight victory for the Wasps in the series.
After forcing Maryville to punt on its first possession, E&H went down the field in 11 plays covering 67 yards and 3:39 for the first score of the game. Senior quarterback Kyle Boden (Knoxville, Tenn.) completed his first four passes of the game and hit senior wideout Chad Williams (Elkton, Va.) from 11 yards out for the score.
The Scots offense continued to struggle for much of the first half, missing a short field goal and failing to convert a fourth-down attempt, thanks in part to the Wasps' bend-not-break defense. Maryville put together its best drive of the half late in the second quarter as it went 82 yards on 12 plays only having to battle third down twice. A six-yard rush by Travis Felder was good to tie things at seven points apiece midway through the game.
Emory & Henry made it 14-7 on its second possession of the third quarter. Boden completed eight passes during the drive including a 19-yard toss to the left side of the field where senior wide receiver Cleo Cooper (Raleigh, N.C.) reeled it in and went in for the score.
Maryville tied the game at 14 with 13:21 to go in the fourth quarter. A 22-yard pass to Felder from Evan Pittenger capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive that drained 4:41 off the clock.
The Wasps responded with the next time they touched the ball going to the air for 58 of their 68 yards on the strike. Boden found junior Lucas Kirby (Covington, Va.) on second-and-goal for the 10-yard touchdown catch to go up 21-14.
On the second play of Maryville's next possession, the Emory & Henry defense got the big play it had been looking for all day. Sophomore cornerback Ryan Byrd (Grottoes, Va.) telegraphed a pass at the MC 28 and ran it in for the "pick-six" score. The subsequent PAT attempt was no good, making the Wasps lead, 27-14 with 9:34 remaining in the game.
E&H forced Maryville to punt on the next drive and then failed to convert a fourth-down that would have undoubtedly sealed the contest with 2:47 to go. The Scots got the ball at their own 27 yardline and streaked 73 yards in 1:39 thanks in part to a 40-yard Pittenger pass to Ed Johnson. Trenton Shuler ran it in from nine yards out to close the gap to 27-21.
The Wasps were able to run out the clock on their final possession but the Scots made things interesting, burning their timeouts in efforts to get the ball back for a last chance at the end zone. E&H held on to win by the 27-21 margin.
Maryville outgained Emory & Henry 440-349 and had 27 first downs compared to just 19 for the Wasps. The Scots also won the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 31:28 of the contest.
Boden went 25-for-37 through the air for E&H for three touchdowns and 286 yards. Cooper caught five balls for 129 yards and a score while Williams and Kirby had 38 and 35 receiving yards, respectively. Junior Josh Smith (Radford, Va.) reeled in a game-high 10 passes for 85 yards and came up big for the Wasps. Junior running back Joe Vaughn (Gate City, Va.) rand the ball 27 times for 64 yards as the Maryville defense was able to sniff out the Emory & Henry run game for much of the afternoon.
Defensively for the Wasps, junior linebacker Paul Forney (Newton, N.C.) had 13 tackles while senior cornerback DeMikael Burse (Charlotte, N.C.) and junior linebacker Sami Khabir (Capitol Heights, Md.) each made nine stops. Sophomore linebacker Rennel Marshall (Rustburg, Va.) broke up a pass, recovered a fumble and had eight tackles.
The Scots were led offensively by Felder, who rushed 21 times for 120 yards and caught three passes for 33 yards for two total touchdowns. Shuler had four carries for 33 yards including his score. Pittenger went 21-for-32 for 217 yards and a touchdown through the air and ran for another 37 yards. Johnson caught six passes for 84 yards.
Maryville's defense was spearheaded by Dylan Wolfenbarger, who had a game-high 17 tackles. Zack Brown made 10 stops while Ruben Rogers had six tackles and a fumble recovery.
Emory & Henry will travel to Fayetteville, N.C. next week for its final non-conference game of the season. The Wasps will take on denominational rival Methodist University at 1:00 p.m. E&H has won five straight against Methodist including a 34-20 victory at Fred Selfe Stadium last year.