White was not a good color for the Maryville Scots wear on Friday Oct. 10, as they escaped a first-half surge and a 35-minute lightning delay in muddy, monsoon-like weather in Ferrum, Va.
The Scots defense stood strong, led by Joshua Krebs and Zach Capehart, and running back Trenton Shuler had a career game to lead Maryville to a 23-13 USA South win over Ferrum.
The win, along with Huntingdon taking a big victory over Christopher Newport, set up a four-way tie within the USA South Athletic Conference for first place between Maryville, Christopher Newport, North Carolina Wesleyan and Huntington, who all sit at 3-1 in the USA South.
Capehart, Krebs and Gabe Johnson each added nine tackles against the Panthers, as Capehart and Krebs rolled up a combined 10 tackles for loss.
Capehart had five tackles for loss, including three sacks for a loss of 21 total yards and batted a pass at the line of scrimmage to set up a Maryville score. Krebs matched the total of five takedowns behind the line for six total yards of loss.
Shuler rushed for 168 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. In the first half, the sophomore rolled up 108 yards on only six carries for an average of 18 yards per carry.
He scored on a 73-yard run in the second quarter, which ranks as the sixth longest touchdown run in Maryville College’s 121 years of football.
Shuler also rushed for two key first downs, including a run on fourth-and-two, in order to allow Maryville to finish the game in victory formation.
Ferrum (0-5, 0-3 USA South) got on the board first after winning the toss and electing to receive. In an offense primarily known for the triple option, Tim Reynolds hit Troy Helton for a 31-yard pass.
The teams traded punts before Evan Pittenger led the Scots on a two-play, 46-yard drive to hit paydirt. Pittenger connected with Anzelo Scullark for a 33-yard completion, then followed a block from Ed Johnson for a 13-yard score on the next play to tie the game at 7-7 with 5:45 left in the first quarter as the rain began to fall.
Zach Capehart deflected a pass at the line of scrimmage to force a punt on Ferrum’s next possession. Aided by a 15-yard face mask penalty and an offside penalty, both for a first down, the Scots scored again. MC quarterback Nick Meyers threw over the coverage to hit Johnson in stride for a 35-yard score. The 80-yard drive gave Maryville a 14-7 lead with 2:13 left in the first quarter.
The Maryville College defense held after Ferrum reached first-and-goal at the Scots’ 9-yard line. Capehart came up big on third-and-goal to sack Reynolds for an 8-yard loss. Jacob Smoak put the 35-yard field goal through the uprights, making the score 14-10 with 8:58 left in the first half.
Maryville College’s defense held again after the Panthers found first-and-goal on the 5-yard line. Scots safety Micah Smith swatted Tim Reynolds’ pass Dominique Lesine in the end zone, forcing fourth down. Hunter Ferguson hit the 22-yard field goal, as the Scots held a slim lead, 14-13, with 2:45 left in the half.
However, that only lasted for 42 seconds, as Trenton Shuler cleared 75 yards on two plays. He took the second play of the drive for a 73-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good, leaving the score at 20-13 at the 2:03 mark.
After the half, Meyer’s pass was tipped by Jatavious Adams and picked off by Shy Smith at the Ferrum 47-yard line. Shy Smith returned the ball to the Maryville 36.
However, MC’s Micah Smith returned the favor four plays later at the Maryville College 3-yard line, intercepting Ferrum’s pass. Smith returned the ball 41 yards to the 44-yard line to shift momentum back to the Scots. Shuler picked up a key fourth down as he gained 3 yards on fourth-and-inches.
Following a 35-minute lightning delay, Maryville used a 13-play, 49-yard drive to set up kicker Wesley Bloeme for a 24-yard field goal, which gave the Scots a 23-13 cushion with 11:28 left in the game.
The Scots caught another break when Ferrum punter Tyler Morgan fumbled a snap. Maryville’s Austin Newton pressured Morgan as he tried to recover, and Morgan fumbled again, allowing the Scots to take over on the Ferrum 30-yard line. A false start on fourth-and-four and a near delay of game penalty slowed the Scots, however, and Terrell Owens slapped an option pass away to give the Panthers the ball on the Ferrum 33-yard line.
The Scots forced a three-and-out, as Capehart stacked up back-to-back tackles for loss, including an 8-yard sack on Reynolds.
Shuler was able to run out the clock, going for 38 yards and three first downs on eight carries to allow the Scots to finish the game in victory formation.
Maryville will travel to Greensboro College for a 1 p.m. start Saturday, before the squad reaches its bye week.