Maryville College rolled up 342 yards of second-half offense – 246 of that across the ground – as the Scots upended Huntingdon College, 42-13.
The lopsided victory marks the first win for MC over the Montgomery, Ala. foe since 2007, as the Scots downed Huntingdon, 27-24. The 29-point margin of victory ranks as the second-largest between the two programs’ histories.
The win on Saturday puts Maryville in a three-way tie for first place within the USA South. Both Averett University and N.C. Wesleyan College match the Scots’ 2-0 record in conference.
MC outscored the Hawks 35-7 in the second half, after the two squad battled to a 7-6 first-half score. Elijah Chenier and Marcus Pierce were key factors in the second-half rally, as the duo combined for 213 yards on the ground and a trio of rushing touchdowns, as Pierce tallied a receiving touchdown, as well.
“It helps having some bigger backs that can come in and push for power,” Pierce said of Chenier and Jacob Bunch. “That gets them tired, and then me, with my quickness and speed, I can beat them to the outside or make a quick cutback. It just balances the offense and keeps us rolling. It helps us to get a breather in and be 100 percent.”
In all, Maryville (2-2, 2-0 USA South) amassed 482 yards of offense with a 6.69 yards per play average. In the second half alone, MC averaged 9.5 yards per play.
Chenier had 13 carries, as the senior recorded his eighth-career 100-yard rushing performance with 135 yards. He scored a 67-yard touchdown on the ground, as he added a pair of catches for 11 yards.
Pierce went 94 yards on 11 touches with a pair of rushing scores, as the sophomore added 60 yards and a touchdown on a pair of catches that included a 59-yard catch-and-score.
“We’ve got trust in them that they are going to get a push or allow me to follow them on the outside,” Pierce said of the offensive line. “They’ve been working hard and doing everything that they need to do. I’ve just got to trust them.”
Terry Stewart led the receiving corps, as the tight end caught five passes for 52 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including MC’s first of the game. Nelson Smith went 11-of-16 through the air for 147 yards and a trio of touchdowns, as he rushed for 31 yards.
Fellow quarterback Trevor Thomas was 3-of-6 through the air, as he added 36 yards on the ground.
“We watched film, and we saw that it was going to be open,” Stewart said. “They had to feed us and believe in us this week. I’ve been training for this for a while. I’ve been going hard in the weight room, and this is just my time. Me and my brothers are ready. We’ve got to go all the way.”
Huntingdon (0-4, 0-2) was led by Michael Lambert’s 23-of-42 performance, as the signal caller passed for 221 yards and a touchdown. C.J. Pugh led the way with six catches for 124 yards and the Hawks’ lone touchdown.
Blake Henderson had seven tackles to lead Maryville, as Markel Kea had five tackles and a pair of forced fumbles. JaCorey Jackson had four stops with a sack and four quarterback hurries, as Michael Bailey added a forced fumble and a recovery. Hayden Tanner had a fumble recovery, as Pierre Chadwick had five stops and an interception to go with a pair of pass breakups. Bo Hering had six stops and a quarterback rush.
Huntingdon saw Trey Hayes led the way with 11 tackles, as Gavin Walker recorded six tackles and a pair of sacks with a quarterback hurry.
The Hawks’ opening drive went seven plays for 17 yards. Chase Young’s 43-yard attempt was wide left to leave the score at nil with 9:30 left in the first quarter.
Huntingdon would score first, however, as they went 85 yards in nine plays. The MC defense held, forcing 27-yard field goal from Young for a 3-0 score at the 3:02 mark.
Maryville would strike back at the 14:52 mark in the second half, as they notched the team’s first touchdown. The eight-play, 57-yard drive was capped with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Stewart for a 7-3 Maryville lead.
Young tallied his second field goal of the game with 2:47 to go in the first half to make it a one-point game. The attempt capped an 11-play, 30-yard drive before the half.
Maryville came out swinging in the second half, as the Scots forced the turnover on the pooch kick. D. Cunningham fumbled, as Tanner recovered it to set up MC. The seven-play, 43-yard drive was capped with a 4-yard pass from Smith to Stewart for a 14-6 Scots’ lead with 11:53 showing in the third quarter.
Chadwick would pick off Lambert’s pass on the Maryville 9-yard line, as it set up the Scots’ longest drive of the game. A steady dose of Pierce and Chenier led the way, as the duo combined for 54 of the 91 yards on the 12-play drive. Anthony Mahoneywould gain 7 yards on a little MC trickery, before the Scots would punch it in with Pierce from 3 yards out. With 1:42 left in the third, Maryville led 21-6.
At the 14:00 mark of the fourth quarter, the Scots would need just one play. Chenier took the ball 67 yards, as he found a key block on the outside from Shemar Collier. That 10-second drive made the score 28-6 in favor of the Scots.
Huntingdon needed just three plays on their next drive to answer. Lambert found Cody Dwyer for 16 yards, before he found Pugh on back-to-back throws – the final going 25 yards for a touchdown. With 13:00 left in the game, the Hawks cut the score to 28-13.
With 4:43 left in the game, the Scots would find their fourth touchdown of the half. A nine-play, 85-yard drive ended with a 59-yard touchdown pass to Pierce from Smith for a 35-13 score.
Maryville would march their final scoring drive at the 2:08 mark, as Pierce rushed the final 36 yards of a 46-yard drive for the 42-13 MC victory.
Maryville will look to keep their streak alive, as the Scots travel to Methodist University next Saturday, Oct. 13. Kickoff in Fayettville, N.C. is set for 1 p.m.