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Eight Turnovers Doom the Tigers

Josh Doggett
Josh Doggett

NORFOLK, VA – The Hampden-Sydney Football team was not able to overcome eight turnovers as Christopher Newport defeated the Tigers 17-7 on Saturday night in a non-conference contest.

The first half was as disastrous as it could be, yet the Tigers managed to only trail 17-0 at halftime. On the opening drive, the Tigers got the ball to the CNU 26 but faced a 4th and 6. The pass to a double covered Holton Walker (Lynchburg, VA / Brookville) was incomplete. The play was ominous of how the rest of the half would go down.

On CNU's first possession, Marcus Morrast completed a 58-yard pass to Matt Kerr to set up a Paul Dukes four-yard touchdown with 10:04 to go to put the Captains up 7-0. A few possessions later, Brady Macko (Kill Devil Hills, NC / First Flight) lost a fumble at the H-SC 27-yard line. One play later, Morrast crossed the goal line for a 27-yard touchdown run to put Christopher Newport ahead 14-0 with 4:19 left in the first quarter.

Hampden-Sydney quickly turned the ball over again courtesy of Nash Nance's (Calhoun, GA / Tennessee) second interception of the contest just 10 seconds later. The Tiger defense held strong and prevented another CNU score. However, Fuller Clarke (Roanoke, VA / North Cross) lost a fumble on the next Hampden-Sydney possession, handing the ball to the Captains at the CNU 49 with 12:24 left in the half.

The H-SC defense made a big play on their next trip on the field. John Moore (Powhatan, VA / Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot) stopped Dukes four yards behind the line of scrimmage and forced a fumble that was recovered by Steve Fogleman (Mechanicsville, VA / Hanover) at the H-SC 41. The Tigers offense still wasn't able to get the offense any traction, as Nance had his 4th and five pass intercepted at the CNU 34.

The Captains ran off several minutes off the clock before punting, but they eventually forced Hampden-Sydney into another long fourth down. The Tigers failed to convert on 4th down, handing the ball back to Christopher Newport for the last drive of the half. The turnover on down was the second of the half, giving the Tigers effectively seven first-half turnovers when paired with the three interceptions and two lost fumbles.

The Tigers looked to get another big defensive stop, but two penalties resulting in automatic first downs extended the drive. Eventually, Mason Studer drilled a 42-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give Christopher Newport a 17-0 halftime lead.

Hampden-Sydney opened up the second half on defense and forced a three and out, but the turnover woes weren't left in the locker room as Nance got picked off by Vincent Bolden at the HSC 37 and he returned it to the HSC 27 at the 13:38 mark. The Tiger defense held their own, forcing the Captains into a 4th and two in the red zone. A pass lofted into the end zone was broken up by Zach Morgan (Virginia Beach, VA / Ocean Lakes), saving what looked to be a touchdown.

The Tigers took the ball deep into CNU territory, and was looking at a 4th and three at the CNU 26. The Tigers drew up a Moore keeper, but he got just one yard with 7:57 left in the third. On Christopher Newport's next possession, the defense did their job again, forcing a failed 4th down conversion at 5:37.

On the next CNU possession, HSC forced a 4th and three, but a roughing the passer penalty put the ball in the red zone at the end of the third. The defense came up with another big play as CNU had a 1st and goal on the Tigers seven-yard line, but Josh Doggett (Mechanicsville, VA / Atlee) forced a fumble and picked it up at the 11.

The offense seemed to finally get on track, getting the ball deep into CNU territory, but Nance was intercepted again at the 11 yard line. The Tigers forced a punt on the Captains' next possession but HSC was pinned within their own 20 yard line. Hampden-Sydney had their best drive of the game and got the ball all the way down to the two yard line. But on the next play, Mitch Pereira (Midlothian, VA / Midlothian) recorded the team's third lost fumble, losing the ball at the 10 yard line and CNU returned it to the 15.

The Tigers got one last stop on a 4th and one at the HSC 36 with 2:12 to play. The Tigers ended the shutout on their ensuing drive as a Macko 18 yard run set himself up for a three-yard touchdown run with 47 seconds left to make it 17-7. The Tigers went for an onside kick but the Captains recovered it and ran out the clock to end the game.

Doggett led the team with 14 tackles, three for a loss, with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Robert Stack (Charlotte, NC / Merchant Marine Academy) notched 11 tackles and one for a loss while Tyler Ikwild (Philomont, VA / Loudoun Valley) recorded nine stops. Morgan made three tackles and had two pass breakups.

Nance was 45-72 for 364 yards but threw five interceptions. His 45 pass completions broke the Tigers single game record. Walker tied the Hampden-Sydney single game receptions record with 15 catches, a week after having 14, for 138 yards. Joey Kernan (Derwood, MD / Gonzaga) corralled eight catches for 52 yards.

Evan Moog led the Christopher Newport defense with 14 tackles while Tyrell Eaton made 13. Mic Edwards and AJ Schmetzer each posted 10 tackles.

The Tiger defense limited Christopher Newport to just 272 total yards of offense while Hampden-Sydney racked up 408.

Hampden-Sydney travels to New London, CT, next weekend for a 1 pm contest against Coast GuardCoast Guard Academy.

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