Tigers fall to Randolph-Macon 37-14

Published 3:51 pm Friday, November 19, 2021

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Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) Football dropped a 37-14 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football decision on the road at nationally-ranked No. 19 Randolph-Macon College (R-MC ) in the 126th edition of “The Game” on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Day Field in Ashland. The visiting Tigers led 7-3 after one quarter, before the host Yellow Jackets took a 27-7 lead at halftime en route to their home win. H-SC completes the 2021 season with a final record of 5-5 overall, including 4-2 in the ODAC, while R-MC finishes at 9-1 overall, 5-1 in the ODAC.

R-MC took an early 3-0 advantage when Chris Vidal connected on a 26-yard field goal at 1:54 of the first quarter.

H-SC answered right back when senior quarterback Tanner Bernard found sophomore wide receiver Braeden Bowling for a 74-yard touchdown pass on a third-down play with just 38-second left in the opening period. Bowling caught the ball down the middle of the field and outran the Yellow Jacket defender to the end zone for the game’s first TD. Sophomore placekick Palmer Smith added the first of this two PATs on the afternoon and the Tigers led 7-3 after one quarter.

R-MC responded with an 18-yard scoring run by Nick Hale at 9:34 of the second quarter, and Vidal added the first of his four PATs for a 10-7 lead. The Yellow Jackets made it 17-7 at 6:55 of the second quarter when David Wallis scored on an 81-yard pass reception from Brecht Heuchan. Vidal added a 27-yard field goal at 3:11 to make it 20-7, and the hosts extended the margin to a 27-7 halftime advantage when Heuchan and Wallis connected on a 14-yard scoring play with just 13-seconds left in the opening half.

R-MC pushed its lead to 30-7 early in the third quarter when Vidal added his third field goal of the day from 36 yards out with 10:05 on the clock. The Yellow Jackets added their final score on the final play of the third quarter when Heuchan found Joey Hunt for a 33-yard touchdown pass, as the home team led 37-7 after 45 minutes.

H-SC added a final touchdown late in the contest with 2:36 left to play when senior running back Kaleb Smith found the end zone from one-yard out, capping a 14-play, 63-yard possession. The drive included an 18-yard completion from Bernard to junior tight end David Byler on fourth down, and a 16-yard run by K. Smith for first and goal ahead of the TD two plays later. The Tigers did recover the ensuing onside kick attempt but were unable to put any more points on the scoreboard.

Bernard passed for 214 yards and one touchdown with one interception for H-SC. K. Smith rushed for 61 yards on 17 attempts and one touchdown, adding 19 yards receiving on three catches. Bowling had 78 yards receiving on two receptions and one touchdown, while fifth-year wide receiver Nick Kallivokas finished with 40 yards receiving on four catches, and fifth-year wide receiver and second-year team captain Dillon Costello had 38 yards receiving on four receptions.

Fifth-year linebacker and team captain Brendan Weinberg and senior linebacker Garrett Robinson each finished with nine tackles to lead the Tigers on defense-Weinberg with 1.5 tackles for loss and Robinson with one sack and one forced fumble. Sophomore safety Will Pickren added seven tackles, including half a tackle for loss.

Heuchan passed for a game-high 265 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for R-MC. Hale had 72 yards rushing on 11 attempts and one touchdown. Wallis had a game-high 99 yards receiving on three receptions and two touchdowns, while Hunt added 72 yards receiving on five catches and one touchdown. Tyler DeBerry finished with a game-high 11 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble for the Yellow Jackets.