NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - LaGrange shocked Christopher Newport 20-6 at POMOCO Stadium on Saturday. The upset win puts the Panthers (2-4, 2-1 USA South) in a four-way tie for first in the USA South standings.
Christopher Newport (3-3, 2-1 USA South), the defending conference champion and preseason pick to win it again, had its 14-game conference win streak end. The Captains had won three straight games after losing their first two this season.
The Panthers had 332 yards of total offense in the game, 227 coming on the ground. The defense held the Captains to 212 yards of offense, 68 coming on one running play.
The Panther defense held the Captains to just two field goals. It was the first time the Panthers had held an opponent without a touchdown since beating Blackburn 61-0 in 2008.
Running back Kent Gibsonand quarterback Ed Russcombined for 222 yards rushing in the game. Gibson was the workhorse, running for 118 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown. Russ added 104 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown.
P.G. Standard, who led the defense with seven tackles, set up the first Panther score with an interception at the Captain's 41. He returned the interception to the 23.
The Panthers needed only two runs by Russ to cash in on the Captains' turnover. Russ scored from 14 yards out to make it 7-0 with nine minutes left in the first quarter.
Will Jeffcoatkicked two field goals in the second quarter sandwiched around a field goal by the Captains' Mason Studer as the Panthers led 13-3 at halftime. Jeffcoat had a 37-yarder then broke his school record of 44 yards set earlier this season with a 45-yarder.
Christopher Newport cut the Panthers' lead to 13-6 after Studer hit from 37 yards out early in the third quarter. The Captains' got the 68-yard run from Paul Dukes down the Panthers' 17 on their next possession.
The defense rose up to stop the threat. Marcus Morast was forced into an incompletion on fourth down and two at the 9 as the Panthers took over.
The Panther special teams set up the clinching touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Drake Nawrwold's punt went off a Captain player with the Panthers recovering the ball at the Captains' 15-yard line.
Gibson scored five plays later from the 1 on third down with 2:09 left. Jeffcoat added the extra point for the 20-6 final.
The Panthers play at Maryville next week. The Scots are one of the four teams tied with the Panthers for first in the conference.