EMORY, VA – No. 25 Randolph-Macon scored 20 unanswered points to start the second-half as the Yellow Jackets got a key 34-22 ODAC road win at Emory & Henry College on Saturday.
R-MC is now 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the league, while E&H is 4-1 and 0-1 in the ODAC.
Randolph-Macon used a balanced attack, rushing for 201 yards and throwing for 205 for a combined 406 total yards of offense. Running back Drake Sanders led the R-MC offense with 112 yards on 22 carries and scored two second-half touchdowns. Quarterback Austin Faulkner was 17-of-22 for 205 yards and two scores. Faulkner found Earl Peoples 10 times for 105 yards on the day as well.
The R-MC defense was able to hold All-American running back Caleb Jennings to just 40 yards on 14 carries and allowed just seven points in the second half to help the Jackets to the win. Andrew Leonard led R-MC with 10 tackles, while Mark Jackson and Jeremy Bowry had eight and seven stops, respectively.
Emory & Henry took the opening kickoff and ran nine plays into R-MC territory before the Yellow Jackets' Joe Pricone recovered a fumble to give R-MC the ball on its own 47.
The Yellow Jackets then put together a seven-play drive, which saw Thaddeus Scruggs run the ball five times for 39 yards, including a 23-yard scoring scamper to put R-MC up 7-0.
On E&H's ensuing possession, quarterback Dustin Beck found Anthony Sims for 64 yards on the third play of the drive, sending the Wasps' to the R-MC one-yard line and then Beck scored on a keeper one play later. The point after attempt failed, making the score 7-6 with 6:35 to go in the opening quarter.
Randolph-Macon got the ball back and drove 52 yards on nine plays, down to the Wasps' nine-yard line before coming up on a 4th down and one yard to go. The Jackets' went for it, and Austin Faulkner found Zach Midulla on a play action pass to extend the R-MC advantage to 14-6.
E&H took a 15-14 lead into the locker room at intermission after the Wasps scored all nine points in the second stanza. The first three came on a Matt Churchin 39 yard field goal with 12:32 to play in the half. Beck then set up his second score of the day with a 47 yard run followed by another one yard keeper. The two-point conversion failed to keep it a one-point game.
R-MC regained the lead after its first drive of the second half, taking the kickoff and driving 63 yards on seven plays in 3:13, scoring on a 10 yard pass from Faulkner to Earl Peoples. The extra point was missed, leaving the Jackets' lead at 20-15.
The game remained that way until the late part of the third quarter when a Peoples 42 yard punt return set up a Drake Sanders three-yard touchdown run to put R-MC up 27-15 with just under three minutes to go.
Sanders then struck again when his one-yard scoring plunge with 8:23 to go in the contest, capped a 10 play, 81 yard drive that took 5:01 and extended the R-MC lead to 34-15.
The Wasps rallied on its ensuing possession, marching 74 yards on just six plays, cutting their deficit to 34-22 when Beck ran for a six yard TD run with 6:33 to play.
That would be as close as E&H would get as the Jackets offense got the ball back and ran out the clock, running 10 plays and picking up three first downs to seal the victory.
Randolph-Macon will return home next Saturday when it hosts ODAC rival Catholic at 1:00 p.m. in Ashland.