GAFFNEY, S.C. (Limestone SID) –
o visiting Tusculum College (4-4) by a final of 45-11 on Saturday, October 24 at The Reservation at Gaffney High School.
Redshirt-freshman Ga’Quan Maize (Florence, S.C.) finished with 72 yards on the ground while redshirt-sophomore Daitwain Commodore (Charleston, S.C.) added 68 yards rushing for the Saints. Redshirt-sophomore Bo Whitney (Union, S.C.) went 19-of-30 for 185 yards passing while rushing for a touchdown.
Redshirt-sophomore receiver D’Anta Fleming (Greer, S.C.) hauled in a season-high 82 yards on 10 catches while redshirt-sophomore tight end Fabian Jefferson (Florence, S.C.) finished with 42 yards on two receptions. Redshirt-sophomore Titus Williams (Greenwood, S.C.) led the defense with nine tackles.
The Saints compiled 373 yards of total offense, including a season-best 185 passing yards, but would surrender 560 yards to a high-octane Tusculum offensive unit. The Blue and Gold held the ball for 32:23.
The Pioneers got on the board first, taking advantage of great starting field position at the Limestone 45-yard line on their second possession. Tusculum would drive the ball inside the 15, but the Saints held firm with their backs against the wall and limited the visitors to a 27-yard field goal at the 8:14-mark in the first.
The Blue and Gold followed with a promising possession, highlighted by runs of 15 and 13 yards by Maize, but the drive would stall inside the Tusculum 40. The Pioneers then responded with an 80-yard, nine play scoring drive to take a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
A pair of touchdown drives early in the second quarter expanded the margin before a 2-yard TD plunge by Josh Jackson in the final minute staked the Pioneers to a 31-0 halftime advantage. Tusculum was firing on all cylinders in the opening half, putting up 359 yards of offense for the comfortable lead.
The Saints finished with 142 yards of offense in the first half, but could not find a way to get inside the redzone over the first 30 minutes. Limestone opened the second half in the much the same manner, moving the ball inside the opponent’s 35-yard line only to see the drive grind to a halt.
Tusculum continued to control the tempo on the offensive side of the ball, taking its first drive of the second half 98 yards on 12 plays to push the lead to 38-0 with 5:23 left. Isaac Robinson accounted for 69 yards rushing during the scoring drive, including a 14-yard TD run off left tackle.
A 40-yard field goal late in the third quarter by junior Logan Ard (Rock Hill, S.C.) gave Limestone’s it first points of the game. The Blue and Gold drove 52 yards on the scoring drive, highlighted by a 29-yard catch and run by Jefferson down the home sideline.
Following a solid defensive series, the offense moved the ball 79 yards behind hard running from Commodore and Whitney as the Saints trimmed the margin to 38-11 with 10:30 left. Commodore opened the drive with a 28-yard scamper before Whitney closed it with 1-yard TD run – his fourth of the season.
The Pioneers put to rest any thoughts of comeback on their next possession, however, as a 5-yard touchdown run by DJ Samuels gave the visitors a 45-11 cushion with 5:25 remaining.
Hometown product Luke Lancaster was solid for Tusculum, going 29-of-39 for 367 yards and a touchdown. Robinson added 112 yards rushing while Ken Drummond hauled in three catches for 124 yards.
Redshirt-sophomore linebacker Justin Rogers (Fletcher, N.C.) recorded seven tackles for the Saints while sophomore corner Joshua Simmons (Moncks Corner, S.C.) added six tackles and two pass breakups.
Limestone hosts Carson-Newman University on Saturday, October 31 at 2 p.m. in the 2015 home finale.