Sunday, September 30, 2018

Davidson Snaps 17-Game Pioneer League Skid With 40-35 Win Over Valparaiso

VALPARAISO, Ind. – Davidson found itself on the winning end of a thrilling Pioneer Football League road game, snapping a 17-game league losing streak at Valparaiso Saturday at Brown Field, 40-35.

The PFL win is the first for the Wildcats since downing Stetson 20-17 in the 2015 season finale. With the win, Davidson improves to 4-1 overall. The last time the ‘Cats won four games in a campaign was in 2011 when they finished 4-7.

Trailing 35-34 late in the fourth, Davidson put together a 9-play, 75-yard drive capped off with a James Story 1-yard, go-ahead scoring run with under a minute to play to help lead the ‘Cats to victory.

Davidson had to overcome a second half Valpo push. Down 34-21 after the break, the Crusaders used lengthy scoring drives of 82 and 70 yards to take the lead.

Senior defensive back Nathan Campbell thwarted another close Crusader chance in the final frame. The Proctorville, Ohio, native jumped a route and intercepted his second pass of the season in front of the nearside pylon to prevent Valpo from adding another score.

The Wildcats rattled off 545 total yards including 379 on the ground. Junior William Wicks rushed 21 times for a career-high 178 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Wesley Dugger recorded 91 yards on 21 carries and a pair of scoring scampers. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Phelps completed 12 of 15 passes for 166 yards and 2 scores.

The ‘Cats scored on all five drives of the first half, using 40 rushes to amass 263 yards on the ground. Dugger converted a pair of short yard scoring scampers, his seventh and eighth touchdowns of the season.

Phelps completed 9 of 11 passes including a pair of scoring strikes to freshman Eli Turner Jr. (33 yards) and junior Hunter Louthan (15 yards). Wicks broke free for his team-leading ninth touchdown of the season, a 36-yard scoring scamper.

The only stop of the first half, forced by the Wildcat defense, allowed Davidson to march down the field in a two-minute offense and jump out to a 34-21 halftime lead.

The Crusaders matched score for score for most of the half behind a 10 for 14, 2 touchdown half from Jimmy Seewald. Griffin Norberg took Seewald’s first pass of the game 62 yards for the score.

Seewald and backup quarterback Chris Duncan combined to complete 18 of 28 passes for 260 yards and 3 scores. Crusaders Jamari Booker (20) and Drew Snouffer (16)

Davidson junior linebacker George Hatalowich paced the team with 12 total tackles. Classmate Tony Collins registered 7 tackles, including 1.0 for loss.

Davidson returns home Saturday, Oct. 6 for a PFL clash with Jacksonville. Kick off from Richardson Stadium is slated for 1 p.m.