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The Panthers jumped to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter and led the rest of the way.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
FERRUM — After going 0-for-September, the Ferrum College football team finally had reason to smile on Saturday.
Tim Reynolds threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Panthers beat Greensboro 31-21 for their first win of the season.
“There’s a lot of pressure off everyone’s shoulders now,” Reynolds said.
It was the stingiest effort of the season for the Panthers (1-4, 1-1 USA South). They had allowed more than 40 points in each of their first four games, including more than 50 points in each of the previous two games.
“A lot of things that we don’t understand, it’s starting to come together,” said cornerback Anthony Orton, who picked off a pass in the fourth quarter. “We felt like we didn’t know what to do, but Coach [David] Harper stuck in our head, ‘You’ve got to keep grinding. You can’t give up.’
“We knew that it was our fault [on defense].”
The homecoming game for Ferrum College, which is celebrating its centennial anniversary, drew 3,675 fans to Adams Stadium. The football program’s four national championship teams were honored at the game.
“Coach Harper preached all week, ‘You know how many alumni’s coming?’ ” Reynolds said. “We knew it’s must-win.”
Ferrum, which took the lead for good in the first quarter, beat the Pride (1-4, 0-2) for the fourth straight year.
The Panthers entered Saturday’s game ranked 239th out of 242 Division III teams in scoring defense (49.8 ppg), total defense (561.8 ypg) and pass defense (329.3 ypg).
So defensive coordinator Cleive Adams shuffled some personnel and simplified the defensive game plan.
“He knows that mentally some of us aren’t there yet, so today it was more simple so we could just read our keys and play fast instead of thinking,” Orton said. “Just playing, no thinking.”
After allowing the most yards of total offense (774) in its history in last weekend’s 56-35 loss at Huntingdon, Ferrum gave up a season-low 304 yards Saturday.
Ryan Throndset threw for 212 yards for Greensboro. The Pride ran for 92 yards.
Greensboro cut the lead to 24-21 late in the third quarter but did not score again.
The defensive woes of September had been putting plenty of pressure on the Ferrum offense.
“We have to score every possession, that’s how we feel as an offense,” Reynolds said. “It’s been really stressful.
“We feel like, ‘Defense can’t do anything.’ But … we pulled together.”
To help keep its defense off the field, Ferrum adopted a ball-control approach on offense Saturday. Ferrum kept the ball for almost 35 minutes, including more than 10 minutes in the first quarter. The Panthers jumped to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter thanks to a 17-play, 83 yard drive and on a nine-play, 99-yard drive.
Tae Gilbert (Franklin County) ran for 160 yards and one TD on 30 carries for Ferrum, which piled up 436 yards of total offense.
Ferrum had been shut out in the fourth quarter the past three games, but Gilbert scored on a 6-yard run to extend the lead to 31-21 with 5:30 to go.
The Ferrum passing game clicked for the second straight week. Reynolds, who threw for a school-record 292 yards last weekend, completed 13 of 19 passes for 197 yards Saturday.
Greensboro 0 7 14 0 — 21
Ferrum 7 10 7 7 — 31
FC — Reynolds 7 run (Franklin kick), 6:43.
FC — Hunter 39 pass from Reynolds (Franklin kick), 12:10.
GC — Scott 1 run (Bush kick), 2:42.
FC — FG Franklin 25, :21.
GC — Honeycutt 19 pass from Throndset (Bush kick), 10:04.
FC — Smith 18 pass from Reynolds (Franklin kick), 6:52.
GC — Scott 2 run (Bush kick), 5:16.
FC — Gilbert 6 run (Franklin kick), 5:30.
A — 3,675.
First downs 14 23
Rushes-yards 92 239
Comp-att-int 17-31-1 13-19-0
Punts-avg. 5-38 4-47
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 11-80 5-50
RUSHING — Greensboro, Scott 20-81, Throndset 1-7, Vernon 1-4; Ferrum, Gilbert 30-160, Reynolds 12-61, Young 4-20, Haley 1-8, Hunter 2-1, team 3-minus-2, McCoy 2-minus-9.
PASSING — Greensboro, Throndset 17-31-1 212; Ferrum, Reynolds 13-19-0 197.
RECEIVING — Greensboro, Russell 4-54, Honeycutt 4-43, Dukes 3-39, Bridges 2-30, Brown 2-29, Vernon 1-15, Scott 1-2; Ferrum, Kennell 5-38, Haley 3-67, McCoy 3-35, Hunter 1-39, Smith 1-18.
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