CULLOWHEE, N.C. (Wofford SID) – The Wofford College football team defeated Western Carolina 31-19 on Saturday night at E.J. Whitmire Stadium. The Catamounts made it a five point game in the fourth quarter, but the Terriers answered with a 14-play touchdown drive that used over eight minutes. A forced fumble and recovery by Datavious Wilson enabled the Terriers to run out the clock.
Wofford moves to 4-2 on the season and 2-1 in the Southern Conference, while Western Carolina is 1-4 and 0-3 in the league. Wofford was led by Lorenzo Long with 135 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Cole Cleary added 70 yards and a touchdown. The Catamounts were led by Terryron Robinson with 99 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“Western Carolina has the tools that they can be extremely explosive,” said head coach Mike Ayers. “They challenged us defensively. We had some situations where we did not do as well as we needed to and things got tight. We knew that if we were to win the football game we were going to need to score with not much left on the clock. I was very impressed with the way the kids came up here. They played really well to get the win.”
The Catamounts had the ball to open the game and a 51-yard touchdown catch was called back by a holding penalty. A 38-yard completion moved the ball into the red zone and an 11-yard touchdown pass from Tyrie Adams to Terryron Robinson ended the drive. The PAT was missed, giving the Catamounts a 6-0 lead at the 12:27 mark of the first quarter. Wofford gained one first down before having to punt. The Catamount went three-and-out, in large part due to a sack by Miles Brown.
Wofford took over at midfield after the punt. The Terriers gained one first down and then faced a fourth-and-two. A touchdown pass was called back due to an illegal man downfield. David Marvin ended the drive with a school-record 57-yard field goal to cut the lead to 6-3 at 4:52 in the first quarter. With the ball back, the Catamounts had four passing first downs before settling for a 38-yard field goal and a 9-3 lead with 29 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Terriers took over and had a pair of first downs before facing a fourth-and-one at midfield. Lorenzo Long gained eleven yards for a first down and Cole Cleary then went 35-yards down the far sideline for a touchdown. On the next drive by the Catamounts, Dominique Lemon picked off Tyrie Adams and returned it to the 38-yard line. After a couple first downs, Andre Stoddard scored from three yards out to give Wofford a 17-9 lead at 6:15 in the second quarter.
Western Carolina gained one first down before punting back to the Terriers, but then Wofford went three-and-out and punted. On the ensuing drive by the Catamounts, a tackle for loss by Tyler Vaughn and a sack by Terrance Morris forced a three-and-out and punt. Wofford was faced with a fourth-and-one, but a penalty ended the first half.
Wofford began the second half with the ball and had a ten-play drive capped by a Lorenzo Long touchdown from six yards out to give the Terriers a 24-9 lead at 9:11 in the third quarter. The Catamounts went three-and-out and punted on their first drive of the second half, but the Terriers followed with a three-and-out.
The Catamounts then had a 20-yard run by Detrez Newsome on third down and added 15 yards on a personal foul by the Terriers. After another third down conversion, an eight-yard touchdown pass to Terryron Robinson made it a 24-16 game with 3:39 left in the third quarter. With the ball back Wofford gained a first down, but a fumbled snap on third down that was recovered by the Terriers forced a punt. The Catamounts put together a 12-play drive that ended with a 27-yard field goal to cut the Wofford lead to 24-19 with 12:00 on the clock in the fourth quarter.
With the ball back, Wofford was faced with a third down which Cole Cleary converted with a 35-yard run down the far sideline. On fourth-and-three, Lorenzo Long gained eight yards for the first down. After another pair of rushing first downs by Long, he capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown for a 31-19 lead with 3:36 remaining.
A long kickoff return gave the Catamounts the ball at midfield and they converted a fourth-and-two with a short pass. On third down, a fumble was forced and recovered by Datavious Wilson and Wofford took over at the 31-yard line with 1:54 left in the game. Lorenzo Long added pair of first downs as Wofford was able to run out the clock on the win.
Wofford had 360 total yards, with 322 rushing. Western Carolina had 331 total yards, 285 of which were passing. First downs were tied at 19 each. Wofford was 7-of-15 on third downs and 2-of-2 on fourth down. Western Carolina was 6-of-14 on third down and 1-of-1 on fourth down. Western Carolina was called for five penalties, while Wofford was whistled six times. Wofford had a 39:01 to 20:59 time of possession advantage.
Wofford vs. Western Carolina Post-Game Notes
The Terrier defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in a game this season. They allowed only 46 rushing yards by the Catamounts, but gave up 285 passing yards.
Lorenzo Long had 135 rushing yards and two touchdowns. It marked his twelfth career 100 yard game and fourth this season. He now has 2,732 career rushing yards to rank 7th in school history.
The 35-yard run by Cole Cleary in the second quarter was his first career touchdown. The interception by Dominique Lemon was his second of the season.
David Marvin had a 57-yard field goal in the first quarter, the longest in school history. He has four of the five longest field goals in school history.
Game captains were Roo Daniels, Chuck Rouse, Tyreik Lyles and Miles Brown.
Attendance was 9,457 at E.J. Whitmire Stadium.
After a bye week, the Terriers will return home on October 22 against The Citadel as part of Homecoming Weekend activities.