Maryville College fought off two double-digit comebacks by the Emory & Henry College Wasps on Saturday, as Adam Diggs sets a Maryville College record in the 56-46 victory.
The Scots compiled 586 total yards of offense in Saturday's game, as the two teams combined for 987 yards and 102 points.
Maryville's Adam Diggs had the biggest day of his career, claiming the MC record for most touchdown passes and the third-longest touchdown pass. Diggs threw 13-of-22 for 322 yards and five touchdowns on Saturday, breaking the previous record of four held by Justin Price (2006) and Evan Pittenger (2013).
Diggs accomplished the feat, splitting time with freshman Kris Castillo. Castillo went 8-for-13 with 91 yards and his first collegiate touchdown.
With 413 yards passing, Maryville's receivers also had big outings. Mac Seagle tallied the second-most single-game receiving yards in school history with his six catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns. He just passed Zach Mendence's 2002 performance of 190 yards, while fellow receiver Jordan Ligon recorded the third-longest pass reception in school history. He had four catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns – one of those going for an 80-yard, game-winning score. Michael Smith also had a big afternoon, catching six passes for 46 yards as he was the third MC receiver to grab a pair of scores.
Even with MC's air attack, Elijah Chenier was able to record his first 100-yard performance of the season. The junior back gained 121 yards on 21 carries, while finding the end zone twice. Elijah Hairston had 12 carries for 52 yards in Maryville's 173-yard outing across the ground.
For Emory & Henry, Kevin Saxton went 23-for-35 through the air for 239 yards and a touchdown. He connected with Jesse Santiago nine times for 108 yards and a touchdown, as Isaiah Rodgers carried the ball 18 times for 92 yards and a pair of scores.
Maryville's Pierre Chadwick recorded nine tackles in the game, while he managed 112 yards of returns on three attempts.
Emory & Henry would strike first in the opening quarter, posting three points on the board in only 1:55. The Wasps' eight-play, 66-yard drive stalled at the Maryville 5-yard line, as Matt Seals' 22-yard field goal gave Emory & Henry the lead with 13:05 left in the first quarter.
Maryville would strike right back, however, needing only three plays to cover 77 yards. Diggs found Ligon for a 39-yard screen pass, before Chenier would take a lateral pass. The back would follow a trio of blockers down the left sideline for the 25-yard touchdown. The Scots led 7-0 with 11:49 showing on the clock.
With just 3:12 left in the first quarter, Maryville would strike again. Diggs would find Seagle for a 36 yards on a double move, before Diggs found Chenier for a 19-yard connection. Diggs would go 4-for-5 on the drive for 82 yards. He took a huge hit, lofting the ball to the middle of the end zone. Ligon would leap, coming down with just one foot. The 14-yard pass would complete an eight-play, 92-yard drive, as the Scots led 14-3.
A Maryville fumble would set the Wasps up on the MC 32-yard line in the second quarter. Chadwick caught the punt in traffic, as Chance Widner forced it free. Tyler Redmond recovered it, before Emory & Henry needed just four plays to cover 32 yards. Rodgers covered the final 3 yards with his legs, as the Wasps trailed 14-10 with 5:35 left in the half.
Emory & Henry would take the lead after taking over on the Wasps' 25-yard line with just under three minutes left in the half. E&H would use a multitude of out-of-bounds plays and timeouts for a 17-14 lead. Rodgers would complete the drive with a 10-yard run with just 1:12 showing on the clock.
Maryville would go quick, however, as the Wasps kicked the ball short. Castillo would connect with a diving Smith across the middle for his first collegiate passing touchdown. The play would give Maryville a 21-17 lead, as they would receive the kick in the second half.
Chadwick would give MC a huge play to start the second half, taking the kickoff inside the end zone. Chadwick would go 93 yards to the E&H 7-yard line. With that return, Chenier would take just two plays, competing the two-play, 7-yard drive with a 1-yard run up the middle. The 49 second drive game MC a 28-17 lead.
The Wasps' woes continued, however, as the Scots' pooch kick worked. Cameron Page fumbled the ball, as Mason Denman recovered it on the E&H 34-yard line. Seagle would snag Diggs' pass for an 11-yard score, with Maryville taking a 35-17 lead with 12:52 left in the third quarter.
Emory & Henry would use 12 plays to cover 70 yards on the next drive, however. The Scots looked to hold the Wasps on a fourth-and-3, before Maryville was called for a facemask penalty. Sam Wagner would keep the ball up the middle for a 3-yard score, cutting MC's lead to 35-24 with 8:36 left in the third.
An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Wasps would give Maryville good field position on the kickoff. Diggs would connect with Seagle for 41 yards, as Emory & Henry was called for roughing the passer on the play, adding 15 more. Two plays later, Diggs would find Smith on a cutback over the top from 5 yards out for a 42-24 lead with 6:52 left in the third quarter.
Emory & Henry's woes would continue, however, as a wide open Chris Gannon would score a 67-yard touchdown. The play was called back, however, on a personal foul, hands to the face penalty. It would force a punt. Ethan Williams called for the fair catch, before the ball rolled out of his hands.
Max Yates fell on the ball, setting the Wasps up at Maryville's 42-yard line. Saxton would go for it all on the first play, finding Santiago off a while route for a wide-open score. With 1:18 left in the third, Emory & Henry had cut the lead to 11, 42-31.
The game would go to the fourth quarter with 812 yards of total offense – Maryville with 447.
The Wasps would use eight plays to cover 59 yards, as an offside penalty on a failed third down play would give the squad a first down on the Maryville 19. Saxton would find Yates for a 13-yard pass, before Brady Justice would score on a 1-yard run. Saxton would pitch the ball to Rodgers, as Rodgers would use a halfback pass to Gannon for the two-point conversion. With 13:47 left in the game, Maryville led by just three, 42-39.
MC's miscue would give Emory & Henry the lead. A bad option pitch behind Hairston would result in a fumble. Hairston tried to recover the ball, as an Emory & Henry defender knocked it loose. Diggs tried to pick it up, pushing it knocking it backwards, as the hot potato match continued. A pair of E&H defenders would attempt to pick it up, before Eric Johnson found it at the 12-yard line – 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage – for a scoop-and-score to take the 46-42 with 11:27 left.
Maryville needed a spark, and they found it from Ligon again. Ligon would split the safeties, as Diggs found him in stride on just their second play of the drive. Ligon outran a trio of defenders for an 80-yard touchdown and a 49-46 Scots' lead with 6:23 left in the game.
After forcing the punt on defense, Diggs would step up into the pocket, faking the screen to the left. Diggs connected with Seagle down the sideline, as his defender went for the interception. Seagle spun, staying in bounds, jogging easily to pay dirt for the 54-yard touchdown. That would give MC the win, 56-46.