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Tigers improve to 3-0 with big road win

Hampden-Sydney College’s (H-SC) football team kept rolling this spring with a 43-12 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) road win at Guilford College (GC) on Friday evening, March 19, in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Tigers junior quarterback Tanner Bernard passed for a career-high 309 yards and three touchdowns, including an 85-yard scoring pass to senior tight end and former Fuqua School star Ed Newman, and freshman running back Melik Frost scored two touchdowns on the ground to help their team stay undefeated.

Senior captain/wide receiver Dillon Costello and senior wide receiver Blake Page each added scoring receptions, while freshman running back Josh Jones contributed one rushing touchdown for the visiting Tigers (3-0, 3-0 ODAC), who led 37-12 at halftime against the host Quakers (0-3, 0-3 ODAC).

H-SC scored on its first possession of the game when Frost scored on an 18-yard touchdown run at 9:02. Frost added a two-point conversion run and the early lead was 8-0. Newman had a 27-yard reception on the drive, and Costello had a 13-yard catch as well.

The Tigers made it 15-0 with another score on their second possession, this time a 54-yard touchdown pass from Bernard to Page. Sophomore placekicker Jack Breedlove added the point after touchdown (PAT) at 6:27 of the opening quarter.

GC managed the first score of the season against H-SC on a 1-yard touchdown run at 1:53, but the PAT was no good, and the visitors led 15-6 after 15 minutes.

The Tigers added another touchdown at the 10:19 mark of the second quarter after senior defensive end Tyler Lohman forced a fumble deep in GC territory that was recovered by junior linebacker Peyton Carneal at the 1-yard line. Frost promptly found the end zone for his second touchdown, and Breedlove added the PAT for a 22-6 advantage.

H-SC scored again with 5:18 left in the quarter when Bernard and Newman connected on their 85-yard scoring pass play. The PAT was no good, and the score was 28-6.

The Quakers added a late first-half touchdown on a 2-yard scoring run at 1:34, but the Garnet & Grey blocked the PAT, and junior cornerback Jordan Fields picked up the loose football and ran it back 98 yards for the two points to make it 30-12.

The Tigers weren’t done yet for the half, adding another touchdown with just 17 seconds remaining before the break on a 13-yard pass play from Bernard to Costello. Breedlove’s PAT gave the visitors a 37-12 advantage at halftime.

The third quarter was scoreless between the two teams before H-SC added a final touchdown in the fourth quarter when Jones scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 3-yard scoring run at 5:55. The PAT failed after a bad snap on the attempt, providing for the final 43-12 margin of victory.

Bernard passed for a game-high and career-high 309 yards (16-for-26) and three touchdowns with no interceptions, adding 22 yards on the ground. Frost had a game-high 79 yards rushing on 13 carries and two touchdowns, while senior running back Cole Becker finished with 68 yards rushing on 14 carries, and Jones contributed one touchdown on the ground.

Newman had six receptions for a game-high 151 yards receiving and one touchdown, Page added four catches for 89 yards and one touchdown, and Costello had four catches for 38 yards and a touchdown. H-SC produced 513 yards of total offense, including 329 yards passing and 184 yards rushing.

Tigers senior linebacker Brendan Weinberg had nine tackles, including one for a loss and a sack. Freshman defensive back Will Pickren had eight tackles, one interception — his collegiate first, caught in the third quarter — and two pass breakups. Carneal added seven tackles, one forced fumble and a quarterback hurry. Junior linebacker Stephen Cash and sophomore defensive back Will Shulleeta each contributed five tackles.

The Tigers avenged a 37-27 setback at GC during the 2019 season and have now won 19 of 21 games against the Quakers under the guidance of 21st-year Head Coach Marty Favret.

Hampden-Sydney will return home to welcome ODAC member and archrival Randolph-Macon College (3-0, 3-0 ODAC) on Saturday, March 27, at 1 p.m. in the 125th edition of “The Game” on Fulton Field at Lewis C. Everett Stadium.

“The Game” is a reference to the Tigers-Yellow Jackets rivalry being the oldest small-college football rivalry in the south.