MC follows Smith, Brown, Marshall in 24-20 comeback win

MC follows Smith, Brown, Marshall in 24-20 comeback win

Maryville College used a strong defensive effort in the first half to hold Hanover College at bay, as the Scots were able to take control in the second half for a key 24-20 come-from-behind win on Saturday.

Just a week after a disappointing loss to Berry College, 30-24, the Scots' offense came out sputtering.

Maryville gained only 43 total yards in the first half – hindered by 91 yards of penalties on seven flags.

MC would tally a pair of touchdowns and a field goal in the second half to overcome an early 14-0 deficit for their first victory of the 2017 season.

The Scots would fight their way to 263 total yards of offense for the game – 220 of those in the second half – as Michael Smith came out with an impressive three catches for 122 yards and a touchdown.

Adam Diggs went 14-for-18 for 187 yards and a touchdown, as he connected with Donaven Lewis seven times for 52 yards.

Elijah Chenier had 15 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown, while Elijah Hairston added 23 yards on 11 touches.

However, defense led the day for Maryville, as Cedric Brown recorded 10 tackles with a tackle for loss. Chris McKenzie had eight total tackles, while Franchez Marshall found his way to the backfield.

Marshall had six tackles with 1.5 sacks (9 yards) and 2.5 tackles for loss (11 yards).

Eddie Burton had five tackles, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble, while Jordan Early had five stops with a 37-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Blake Henderson added four tackles with an interception on the day.

For Hanover (0-2), it was Chase Lightfoot who went 23-for-36 for 168 yards and a touchdown. Lightfoot added a pair of scores on the ground for the Panthers, as Justin Conners had 53 yards on 15 carries.

Jackson Daugherty had eight catches for 85 yards and a touchdown, as Layne Harnishfeger led the Panther defense.

Harnishfeger recorded 13 total tackles with a trio of sacks for 15 yards of losses. He had four tackles for loss (18 yards) and a forced fumble for a complete day, as Kyle Treber added 11 tackles.

Hanover would strike first with a long, drawn-out drive. Henderson would get an interception on 3rd-and-7, before fumbling the ball back to the Panthers. Hanover would take over, putting together a 16-play, 46-yard drive that lasted 7:48. Numerous penalties hindered Maryville, however, as the Panthers had eight plays inside the MC 10-yard line. Lightfoot would eventually score on fourth-and-goal, extending the ball over the pile and past the pylon. Hanover led 1-0 with 3:34 left in the first.

The squad would add its second score of the day with a nine-play, 46-yard drive that lasted 5:46. Lightfoot would find Daugherty for a 9-yard fade, making the score 14-0 with 10:59 remaining in the opening half.

The Maryville College defense kept the Scots alive in the first half, scoring off a 37-yard touchdown fumble return. Eddie Burton forced the fumble, before Jordan Early used the scoop-and-score to pull Maryville (1-1) to within seven, 14-7.

At that point, the Scots had only 15 yards of total offense – 10 passing, 5 rushing – while recording six penalties for 61 yards. In the 30-minute first half, Hanover would control possession with 19:57 of the ball in the Panthers' hands.

The Maryville offense would tally only 43 yards in the first half, before opening the second half with a bang. Diggs would connect with a wide open Smith down the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown pass.

That pass would kick-start the Maryville offense, as they knotted the game at 14-all with 11:31 showing in the third.

A Maryville College fumble on a punt return would set the Panthers up on the Scots' 13-yard line. Lightfoot would need only four plays to cover the yardage, as he finished the drive with a 1-yard jaunt. The PAT's snap was low, as the pass failed with 7:59 left in the third, 20-14.

Chenier would complete an 11-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard run with 3:28 left in the third, before Ian Hubbs' PAT would give MC their first lead of the game, 21-20.

Hubbs would continue his work with 9:33 showing in the fourth, connecting on a 37-yard field goal attempt for the 24-20 final score.

Maryville College will look next to Emory & Henry College. The Scots will take to the road, as kickoff in Emory, Va. is slated for 1 p.m.