Ground Game Leads BSC Past ’Roo Football

Birmingham-Southern College piled up 379 rushing yards, including 264 in the first half as the Panthers built a 24-0 halftime lead over the Austin College football team and the ’Roos were unable to recover, falling 34-10 on Saturday afternoon at Apple Stadium. The ‘Roos are now 0-5 overall and 0-2 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play with the loss.

Shawn Morris set the tone early for BSC when he broke a 76 yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage, and Morris scored his second touchdown six minutes later with a two yard run to cap off a 10-play, 81 yard drive to put the Panthers up 14-0 after one quarter.

The Panthers got one more touchdown in the opening half when Sam Vermilyea caught a nine yard pass from Jimmy Stainback just seven seconds into the second quarter, and with 6:10 left before halftime the Panthers added three more points on a Ryan Laughlin field goal from 26 yards out.

Morris, who amassed 161 yards on just seven carries in the first half, picked up where he left off early in the third quarter when he broke numerous tackles on his way to a 36 yard touchdown with 12:16 left in the frame to put the Panthers up 31-0. Morris finished with 202 yards on 10 carries with three scores.

Austin College finally got on the board with 2:02 left in the third quarter when Mitch Anderson was good on a field goal from 37 yards away, and after another Laughlin field goal for the Panthers, this time from 30 yards put BSC on top 34-3, the ’Roos put together their best drive of the game with Noah Jesko and Shane Hodge leading the ’Roos down the field on a 14 play, 66 yard drive that ended with Broc Boyd leaping up over the pile and into the endzone from a yard out with 4:28 left to play to make it a 34-10 final. The scoring drive was kept alive when ’Roo punter PJ Fuller corralled a high snap and turned the broken play into a 30 yard rushing gain.

Hodge led the ’Roos with nine carries for 45 yards and Braydon MaQuar caught nine passes for 60 yards. Travis Zambiasi completed 10-of-18 passes for 102 yards with three picks, and Jesko came off the bench to connect on 7-of-13 passes for 45 yards. Sean Sweeney had 11 tackles and forced a fumble and also averaged 34.3 yards on kick returns. Kenneth Eneh led the defense with 12 tackles.

Stainback completed 16-of-26 passes for 169 yards with a touchdown and added 91 yards on the ground to complement the big game from Morris, and Tyler Johnson caught seven passes for 70 yards. Dustin Massey led the Panthers with 11 tackles and Bryan Jackson had seven stops including 2.5 for loss with 1.5 sacks.

Austin College is home again next Saturday when they host the Millsaps College Majors at 1:00 p.m. at Apple Stadium.