NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College football team fell to ninth-ranked Charleston Southern, 38-3, on Saturday night at Buccaneer Field in Charleston, S.C. The Blue Hose drop to 2-5, 1-2 in the Big South, while the defending Big South Champion improves to 4-2, 2-0 in Big South play.
Head Coach Harold Nichols’s Take
“Charleston Southern is a very good football team and is very deserving of their ranking. We knew it would be a tall order coming down here and playing them. At the end of the day, we didn’t do the things that we needed to do in order to give ourselves a chance. We were unable to really string a drive together and gave up too many big plays. It was just a very frustrating night. I think our kids competed but we just didn’t do the things that we needed to do in order to win the football game. Again, a lot of credit goes to them. They have a lot of experienced football players that are also good football players. They certainly deserved to win the football game.”
Charleston Southern scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 21-3 lead in to halftime. PC was able to hold CSU to just 31 rushing yards in the opening quarter of play but the Buccaneers went for 104 yards on the ground in the second with all three scores coming on the ground. From there, CSU never looked back in the victory.
How It Happened
Neither defense would break in the opening quarter, as both sides were held below 80 yards of offense in the first 15 minutes of action. Charleston Southern would find the endzone on the second play of the second quarter, as Ben Robinson broke off a 25-yard run to give the Bucs an early 7-0 lead. PC got on the board less than three minutes later, after Ryan Burgess forced and recovered a fumble to give PC the ball at the CSU 19. Four plays later, Brett Norton converted a 33-yard field goal attempt for his fifth make of the year to make a 7-3 game.
Charleston Southern would break the game open in the final minutes of the first half, scoring twice to push the lead to 21-3 at the half. Mike Holloway crossed the goal line on a one-yard score to make it a 14-3 game, before Robert Mitchell went 78 yards less than two minutes later to tack on one more before halftime.
The Buccaneers extended the lead with a 10-play, 76-yard drive that elapsed over five minutes with quarterback Shane Bucenell capping it off with an 11-yard touchdown run, giving CSU a 28-3 lead. CSU tacked on another touchdown late in third quarter on an eight-yard run by Mitchell for his score, pushing the advantage to 35-3. On its final drive of the game, CSU added a 26-yard field goal by Jacob Smoak to get to the final score of 38-3.
John Walker completed 14-of-22 passes for 74 yards in his first career start at quarterback for the Blue Hose. It was third time Walker had seen action this season but the first time he had played in a road game. Walker also carried the ball twice for three yards.
Grant Beidel continued his strong play on the defensive side of the ball, totaling a team-high 11 tackles and recording his team-leading second interception of the season. It was the third time in three games that Beidel amassed double-digit tackles and is the only PC player to total at least 10 tackles this year.
– Brett Norton made his fifth field goal of the season, a 33-yarder, in the second quarter. He is now 5-of-7 on the year, including a flawless 4-for-4 on the road.
– Joseph Purter recorded his best game of the season, hauling in a pair of passes for a season-high 37 receiving yards. The senior tight end entered the game with just three receptions for 13 yards on the year after missing the first three games with an injury.
– Hayden Sanders recorded the first reception of his career in tonight’s game with a seven-yard reception in the fourth quarter.
– Ryan Burgess and Steve Osondu each forced a fumble in the contest, while Burgess recorded his first recovered fumble of the season. PC won the turnover battle for the third time this season, forcing two and yielding just one.
– Brett Norton also continued his excellent work as a punter, booting the ball eight times for 350 yards for an average of 43.8 yards. He had two more downed inside the 20-yard line to push his total in that category to 19 on the year.
PC returns home for two straight games with former Big South member Coastal Carolina coming to Clinton on Saturday, October 29 for the Homecoming contest for the Blue Hose.