Scots fight off penalties, Blair in 35-23 win over LaGrange

Scots fight off penalties, Blair in 35-23 win over LaGrange

Maryville College fought off numerous penalties and the arm of Connor Blair on Saturday, as the Scots rolled to a 35-23 win over the Panthers.

MC totaled 11 penalties for 154 yards, as the Scots were still able to roll up 340 yards of total offense.

The Orange and Garnet followed a pair of rushing touchdowns for both Elijah Hairston and Cain Adamson on the day, as Braden Cloyd completed his first collegiate past in a 72-yard pitch-and-catch to Mac Seagle.

The Scots were able to use those scores to overcome Blair's offensive attack, as LaGrange's senior quarterback threw 39-of-57 for 326 yards and a pair of scores. He rushed for another in the USA South loss.

Seagle led Maryville (5-4, 3-3 USA South) with two catches for 107 yards including Cloyd's first collegiate touchdown in a 72-yarder. Cloyd was 1-of-3 for 72 yards and a score, while Adamson went 4-of-8 for 74 yards. He also had 5 yards on four carries with a pair of scores.

Elijah Chenier tallied 87 yards on 11 carries, while Hairston went for 74 yards on 13 attempts with two touchdowns. Marcus Pierce had 18 yards rushing and 17 yards receiving in his first collegiate action.

Franchez Marshall led the way defensively with eight tackles, two quarterback hurries and a sack. Ethan Williams, Blake Henderson, Markel Kea and Cedric Brown each had six stops, as Brown also tallied a sack.

Ronald Eckles and DeAngelo Collington each had strip sacks in the game, as Jalene Joyce recovered one of the fumbles.

LaGrange (4-5, 3-3) saw Blair get his numbers by finding 10 different receivers. Djeimon Owens had six catches for 96 yards, while Marcus Campbell – 10 catches – and Austin Sapp – five catches – each totaled 47 yards. Kiontai Button had three snags for 37 yards and both of Blair's touchdowns.

Nicholas Searcy led the Panthers' rush attack with 22 of the 53 yards.

The Scots would strike first, aided by a 30-yard return by JaJuan Milton and a LaGrange personal foul. MC went six plays for 57 yards – Chenier covering the first 36 and Hairston the final 13. Hairston would score with a 4-yard run, as Maryville led 7-0 with 11:26 left in the first quarter.

The clock would run all the way to 44 second left before another score was achieved. The nine-play, 61-yard drive was capped with Blair's 17-yard pass to Button, as the game was knotted at 7-all going to the second quarter.

LaGrange would try a pooch-kick, as Rodney Murray would find a seam up the middle. He returned the kick 44-yard to set up the Scots at the Panther 26-yard line. However, it would take MC eight plays to reach pay dirt, as they were aided by a pass interference and a flagrant foul, player disqualification penalty. That set MC up on the 2-yard line, as Adamson would find the left side for the score, 14-7, with 11:33 showing.

LaGrange would go on a 15-play, 56-yard drive that took 7:18 off the clock before it stalled at the Scots' 12-yard line. Zachary Kudwa's field goal was good from 29 yards, as MC led 14-10 with 4:09 left in the half.

On the first play of the next drive, Cloyd would find his first collegiate touchdown. Seagle had been out of the game after a huge, upending hit as he was leaping for a pass earlier in the first quarter, but he made his presence known on his first play back. He took Cloyd's pass, shedding a defender past midfield for the 72-yard touchdown and a 21-10 Maryville lead. That's where the score would remain as the final 3:51 ticked away to the half. Collington earned the strip sack on fourth-and-9 to end a LaGrange drive on the Scots' 23-yard line with 23 seconds remaining.

LaGrange's first drive of the second half would end the same as their final of the first. Blair was sacked by Ronald Eckles on the LaGrange 36-yard line, knocking the ball free. Joyce would recover it on the Panther 28 to set MC up. Cloyd would rush 22 yards on the first play, before Adamson would finish the drive with a 1-yard jaunt. The run game Maryville a 28-10 lead with 10:54 left in the third.

LaGrange would again use a long drive to score, going 10 plays for 57 yards over 5:15. Blair found Button for the second time of the day – this time for an 18-yard score – as they cut MC's lead to 11, 28-17, with 5:31 left in the third quarter.

An Adamson interception would put the Panthers on their own 38, before they were able to score again going into the fourth quarter. A roughing the passer penalty put LaGrange on the Maryville 8-yard line, before Blair would finish the nine-play, 62-yard drive with a 1-yard run. Blair's pass attempt for the two-point conversion was completed, before Ethan Williams was able to hold the receiver out of the end zone. With 13:30 left in the game, the Panthers had cut it to five, 28-23.

Maryville would earn the win, putting together an impressive 18-play, 83-yard drive that took 7:50 off the clock. The Scots were hindered by a personal foul and an unsportsmanlike penalty on the drive, but Hairston was able to complete the touchdown with a 6-yard run. Ian Hubbs' kick was good, making the final, 35-23.

Maryville will look next to face Ferrum College on Saturday, Nov. 11. The Scots will honor their seniors before the game, which is set to kickoff at 1 p.m. on Honaker Field.