Defense powers Bucs past Robert Morris

JOHNSON CITY, TN- Sacking Robert Morris quarterback Jimmy Walker eight times and forcing three turnovers by the Colonials, the ETSU football team’s defensive unit powered the Buccaneers’ effort Saturday afternoon and treated a sold out William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium to a 16-3 Homecoming win.

With the non-conference victory, the Bucs improved to 3-3 overall on the season and are now 2-1 in Homecoming games since the reinstitution of the program in 2015. Meanwhile, Robert Morris out of the Northeast Conference dropped to 2-2 on the season.

The Bucs also improved to an impressive 3-1 at home this season.

In a game where points were hard to come by, defensive end Nasir Player (Columbia, S.C.) posted a career high three sacks, while junior placekicker JJ Jerman (Seymour) matched his career best with three made field goals. Along with that duo, junior quarterback Austin Herink (Cleveland) teamed up with fellow junior Drake Powell (Clinton) to collect the only touchdown of the contest with a five-yard scoring pass in the second quarter.

An announced crowd of 8,540 looked on as the Bucs – who lost to Robert Morris back in 2015 – avenged that earlier defeat by simply shutting down the Colonials’ offense. In fact, heading into the fourth quarter, the Colonials had managed just 90 yards in total offense for the game. For the game, the Bucs would ultimately outgain Robert Morris 255 to 211.

Other Bucs who posted sacks on the night included defensive end Jason Maduafokwa (Seymour), defensive tackle Ferguierson Charles (Fort Myers, Fla.), and linebackers Austin Gatewood (Ooltewah), Blake Bockrath (Loveland, Ohio), and JD Griffin (Kodak).  For the game, cornerback Jeremy Lewis (Lawrenceville, Ga.) led the way with a team-high 5.5 tackles. Griffin, Lewis and junior linebacker Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio) all had fumble recoveries as well.

Courtesy: East Tennessee State Athletics

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