The Oldest Small School Rivalry in the South did not disappoint in its 116th edition, as the back-and-forth battle was won by the host Tigers. Though going down 14-0 in the first quarter, Hampden-Sydney scored 28 unanswered points en route to a 31-28 victory. The Tigers advance to 9-1 on the year and 5-1 in the ODAC and will await to hear their destiny for a possible playoff bid to the 2010 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs. The selection show will be on broadcast on ESPNews tomorrow, Sunday November 14, at 3:00 pm.
It was a rocky start for the Tigers, who coughed up two fumbles on their first three drives of the game. The second fumble came on a punt return, which was dropped on the Hampden-Sydney four yard line. Two plays later, Thaddeus Scruggs was in the end zone to give the Jackets the early 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing Hampden-Sydney drive, Corey Geiger (Chesapeake, VA/Western Branch) had his punt blocked and recovered by David Fetter for Randolph-Macon's second score of the game just ten minutes into the contest.
Neither team could find the edge offensively, with each side trading punts into the second quarter. Hampden-Sydney's first drive of the second quarter, however, was the turning point. Junior Travis Lane (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) connected on his first three passes to Kyle Vance (Onley, VA/Broadwater Academy) and Andrew Bruckner (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird) for 41 yards to kick start the offense.
After continuing to march, Lane made a one-yard dive on fourth-and-goal to put the Tigers on the board and cut the deficit to 14-7.
After the Tiger defense forced a three-and-out, the offense continued to roll, and four plays into the drive, sophomore Evan King (Lewisburg, WV/Episcopal)burst out for a 41 yard run and the tying touchdown with just over six minutes to play in the half.
The Tigers weren't done in the stanza, finding the end zone one more time. With junior Sean Cavanagh (Midlothian, VA/Clover Hill)catching three passes for 54 yards, Lane easily found Bruckner for the two-yard score. With the third touchdown, Hampden-Sydney took its first lead of the game at 21-14 heading to intermission.
Randolph-Macon started the second half with a promising drive, that was ending with a Trevor Ikwild (Philomont, VA/Loudoun Valley)interception at the Hampden-Sydney 39 yard line. Ikwild returned it 35 yards to the Randolph-Macon 26 yard line to set up the Tigers' next score.
Five plays into the drive, Lane found the end zone yet again, this time on a one-yard scamper.
The Jackets were down, but not out. The compileda 14-play drive that lasted over six minutes and ended with a Scruggs four-yard touchdown run. With the score, it was back to a one possession game at 28-21 in favor of Hampden-Sydney.
Steven Fogleman (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) returned the ensuing kickoff to the Randolph-Macon 43 yard line giving Lane and the Tigers great field position. On a third-and-six play, Lane hit Cavanagh for a big 29 yard gain that kept the drive alive. Four plays later - and in the fourth quarter - junior David Prizzia (Jacksonville, FL/Episcopal) nailed a 33-yard field goal to go up 31-21.
After two traded punts, Randolph-Macon began to march down the field. After over five minutes of play, the Yellow Jackets were in a fourth-and-four situation at the Hampden-Sydney 12 yard line. The Jackets set up for a Josh Storm field goal, but it sailed right preserving the ten point Tiger lead.
The Jackets defense forced a three-and-out to get another chance. This time they capitalized, with a Greg Petrovichsix yard touchdown run with just 49 seconds on the clock, making it a 31-28 game.
Luckily for the Tigers, senior Bill Doody (Fort Lauderdale, FL/Cardinal Gibbons) recovered the onsides kick, allowing Hampden-Sydney to run out the clock with the victory.
The game marked the final for the 20 seniors on the Hampden-Sydney roster, who compiled a 36-6 record over their four years.
On the day, Lane threw for 299 yards and a touchdown on 28-of-45 accuracy. Vance caught nine passes for 86 yards, while Cavanagh had a game-high 125 yards on seven receptions. King rushed nine times for 66 yards and a touchdown, and Lane had two scores on the ground.
Vance has now become just the third Tiger receiver to amass over 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
Petrohovich had 199 yards for the Jackets and Earl Peoples was his favorite target, catching eight passes for 68 yards.
Defensively, Hampden-Sydney allowed 309 yards of total offense, and Ikwild was again the high-man with 12 tackles and an interception.
Hampden-Sydney's fate now lies in the hands of the NCAA Division III Football Committee, which will announce the 32-team field tomorrow afternoon.