Sunday, October 15, 2023

Bulldogs Fall to Limestone in Hard-Fought South Atlantic Conference Showdown

WINGATE – In a thrilling South Atlantic Conference football clash, the Wingate University Bulldogs came up just short, succumbing to Limestone University with a final score of 17-10 this past Saturday. Despite their best efforts, the Bulldogs couldn't overcome a trio of costly first-half turnovers, ultimately tipping the scales in favor of their resilient opponents.

Limestone University, now boasting a 4-3 overall record and an impressive 4-1 standing within the SAC, managed to edge out the Bulldogs, who fell to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in league play. The matchup unfolded as a fierce battle of determination, with Limestone's 339 total yards—comprising 285 passing and 54 rushing yards—just surpassing Wingate's 338 yards of offense, featuring 298 passing yards and 40 rushing yards.

Key statistics from the game reveal a closely fought contest. Limestone secured 19 of the 31 first downs, with a relatively low three-for-17 conversion rate on third downs but an efficient four-for-five on fourth downs. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs struggled on third down, going four-for-13, and failed to convert their single fourth-down attempt. Crucially, Wingate was responsible for three of the four turnovers in the game.

Wingate QB Brooks Bentley
Photo Credit: Anna Torras (Wingate Athletics)
Bulldogs quarterback Brooks Bentley displayed resilience and determination, completing 16 of 26 passes for 298 yards. Wide receivers Evan McCray and Tremel Jones proved vital offensive contributors, with McCray recording four receptions for 111 yards and Jones adding five catches for 110 yards. Despite their individual achievements, Wingate's efforts weren't enough to overcome the Limestone defense.

The game's pivotal moments included Bentley's impressive 44-yard pass to Carlos Estranza, which culminated in a fumble at the 10-yard line, allowing Limestone to take over. A 99-yard drive by the Saints resulted in a touchdown, putting them ahead 7-0. However, Wingate fought back, with Daniel Morrison's interception at the Limestone 25 leading to a quick score that tied the game at 7-7 heading into halftime.

The second half was marked by intense action, as Limestone managed to regain the lead with an early drive, while a field goal put them ahead 10-7. A 53-yard drive later in the frame increased their lead to 17-7. Wingate rallied in the fourth quarter, narrowing the deficit to a single score, but ultimately fell short of a comeback.

Despite the loss, the Bulldogs remain determined to bounce back in their upcoming games. Next on the schedule is a road trip to face Barton on Saturday at 2 p.m. With their sights set on redemption, the Bulldogs look forward to their return home on October 28, when they will host Lenoir-Rhyne at 6 p.m. in front of their loyal fans.