JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 20, 2016) – That’s more like it.
Rushing for a season high five touchdowns and 323 yards, the ETSU football team snapped its four-game losing streak in style with a 38-7 win over West Virginia Wesleyan College Thursday night at Kermit Tipton Stadium. With the win, the Buccaneers improved to 3-4 on the year, while the Bobcats dropped to 2-6.
Sophomore tailback Jajuan Stinson (Knoxville) led the Bucs’ rushing attack, picking up a career-high 127 yards on 11 carries and scoring a touchdown. Meanwhile, sophomore quarterback Austin Herink (Cleveland) rushed for 42 yards and a pair of scores, while also going 9-of-14 through the air for 93 yards.
While the ETSU offense was humming for much of the night, the Bucs’ defense also did its part by taking advantage of WVWC’s miscues. The Bucs matched their season high with a pair of fumble recoveries, both of which led to ETSU scores. In addition, outside of one scoring drive by the Bobcats late in the first half, the ETSU defense pitched three quarters of shutout football and held WVWC to just 199 yards in total offense for the game.
HOW THEY SCORED:
• ETSU 7, WVWC 0: After holding the Bobcats to a three-and-out on the first possession of the game, the Bucs’ offensive unit broke through on the scoreboard with their first opportunity of the contest. Taking over at their own 30-yard line, sophomore quarterback Herink and Stinson powered the offense by rushing for a combined 65 yards on the 10-play, 70-yard drive, which culminated with a 14-yard scoring jaunt by Herink. The extra point by JJ Jerman (Seymour, Tenn.) was good and ETSU led 7-0 with 8:16 left in the first quarter.
• ETSU 14, WVWC 0: The Bucs increased their advantage midway through the second quarter thanks to the efforts of freshman tailback Dontavius Monroe (Delray Beach, Fla.), who rushed for 25 yards on the drive and set up Herink to rumble in from one yard out. It was Herink’s second rushing touchdown of the game. The 12-play drive covered 70 yards and took 5:03 off the clock. Jerman’s extra point was good and ETSU led 14-0 with 8:00 left in the first half.
• ETSU 21, WVWC 0: ETSU tacked on its third touchdown score of the game late in the second quarter, as Stinson capped a 13-play, 86-yard scoring drive with a nifty and elusive 19-yard touchdown run with 57 second left before halftime. Jerman was good on the 34th consecutive extra point of his career and ETSU led 21-0. The 86-yards marked a season-long scoring drive for the Blue and Gold.
• ETSU 21, WVWC 7: The Bobcats did not go quietly to the halftime locker room. Instead, WVWC showed some life by moving the ball 68 yards in seven plays just over 50 seconds and scored its own points of the night. A 36-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Deal to wide receiver Zach Schademan was the key play of the drive, while another accurate toss from Deal to Ian Waddell in the back corner of the end zone resulted in a 4-yard scoring reception as the half expired. Tyler Fischer’s extra point was good and ETSU led 21-7 at the half.
• ETSU 24, WVWC 7: ETSU extended its advantage by opening the second half with a nine-play, 51-yard drive capped by a 37-yard field goal from Jerman. With 10:35 left in the third quarter, the Bucs led 24-7.
• ETSU 31, WVWC 7: After moving the ball to the Bucs’ 23-yard line, WVWC’s Jerel English fumbled and Bucs’ linebacker River Boruff (Sparta, Tenn.) recovered at the 19. On ETSU’s first offensive play from scrimmage, Stinson broke loose for an impressive 66-yard run, and three plays later Monroe picked up his first collegiate rushing touchdown with 7-yard dash to make it 31-7 with 3:18 left in the third quarter.
• ETSU 38, WVWC 7: On the ensuing kickoff return, Bucs’ senior wide receiver Chad Pritchard (Elizabethton, Tenn.) forced the Bobcats’ Tavaris Anderson to fumble and the ball was recovered by ETSU’s Alonzo Francois (Ooltewah, Tenn.) at the 18-yard line. The Bucs quickly took advantage of the field position and three plays later picked up the team’s fifth rushing score of the game, as junior tailback Falon Lee (Macclenny, Fla.) found the end zone on a 3-yard run with 1:41 left in the third quarter.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
• Stinson’s 66-yard run in the third quarter was the longest offensive play from scrimmage for the Bucs since the program’s return in 2015 … Stinson recorded – who totaled 151 all-purpose yards – registered his fourth career 100-yard rushing game … Stinson averaged 11.5 yard per carry.
• ETSU’s five rushing touchdowns marked the most by the Bucs since recording six rushing scores in the 68-7 win over Chattanooga back on Nov. 15, 2003.
• Henrik’s 14-yard touchdown run on the Bucs’ first possession of the game was the first time this season ETSU has scored in the first quarter of a game … Herink’s two rushing touchdowns tied a career-high as he also rushed for two scores in the 42-27 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan in last year’s season finale.
• As a team, ETSU totaled 421 total yards on offense (323 rushing/98 passing) … The Bucs set season highs in rushing yards and average yards per play (5.8) … The 323 rushing yards marked the most by an ETSU team since totaling 343 yards on the ground in a 38-3 win over VMI on Sept. 16, 2000.
• Defensively, the Blue and Gold recorded three sacks and held the Bobcats to 3-of-11 on third down chances … The Buccaneer defense also held WVWC to less than 200 yards on offense (199) … The Bobcats entered the night averaging 365.4 yards on offense and 164.6 rushing yards per game … The Blue and Gold held the Bobcats to 30 rushing yards, while senior running back Michael Anderson – the program’s all-time leading rusher – was held to 53 rushing yards on 12 carries and zero touchdowns … Anderson came into the game averaging 153.3 rushing yards per game and had eight rushing touchdowns … ETSU also finished with a season-high eight tackles for loss.
• The Buccaneer defense has now forced at least two turnovers in three games this season, while forcing at least one in five of their seven contests.
• Sophomore Domenique Williams (Charlotte, N.C.) led the Bucs with a season-high six tackles, while Jason Maduafokwa (Seymour, Tenn.), JD Griffin (Kodak, Tenn.) and Spencer Brien (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) all registered sacks for the Blue and Gold … Maduafokwa tallied his team-leading fourth sack of the campaign, while Griffin’s marked the first of his career … Three of Maduafokwa’s five tackles went for a loss … Boruff and Francois both registered their first collegiate fumble recoveries in the win.
• JJ Jerman made all five PATs on the night, which moved his consecutive steak of extra points to 36 straight to start his collegiate career … Red-shirt freshman kicker Landon Kunak (Spartanburg, S.C.) had three touchbacks and averaged 61.1 yards per kickoff on the night.
• This was the first meeting ever between the Bucs and the Bobcats. Counting the Bucs’ win over Western Carolina at Bristol Motor Speedway as a home victory, ETSU is now 2-2 at home on the season.
• Thursday night’s win gives Torbush his 25th career head coaching victory.
• Attendance for Thursday night’s game was 6,196.
The Bucs will hit the road next week to face Southern Conference foe The Citadel on Saturday, Oct. 29. Kickoff in Charleston, S.C. is set for 2 p.m.