Maryville College used another second-half surge on Saturday, as the Scots rallied from a first-half deficit for a 37-17 USA South victory over LaGrange College.
MC trailed 9-7 at the half, as the Scots tallied 30-straight points to keep hold of their first-place ranking within the USA South.
Averett University defeated Huntingdon College, 45-17, today, as well, as it sets up a potential USA South Athletic Conference Championship for Homecoming.
Both squads come into Home to Howee with matching, unblemished conference records at 4-0. The winner of Saturday's game – slated to kickoff at 2 p.m. – will control their own destiny.
The Scots went 10-of-19 (53 percent) on third down, as they rolled up 522 total yards of offense in the game. Maryville had 331 of those yards across the ground, as the defense held the Panthers to just 37 rushing yards for the contest.
MC followed a stout defensive line effort, as they averaged 6.6 yards per carry with four rushing scores.
Elijah Chenier led the way with 184 yards on 18 carries. The senior back averaged an astonishing 10.2 yards per touch, as he added a 60-yard touchdown jaunt.
Clayton Ogle posted 113 receiving yards on six catches, as he added a touchdown on an 18.8 yards per catch. Jacob Bunch had 60 yards rushing on 12 carries. He, Elijah Rachell and Adam Diggs added rushing scores to Chenier's in Saturday's victory.
Thomas had 23 yards on four carries, while the freshman quarterback went 8-of-13 for 99 yards and a passing score.
Ian Hubbs had a field goal and four extra points in the win over LaGrange.
Defensively, Maryville saw Trey Melton and Tre Chandler each record four tackles, as both had a tackle for loss. Chandler added a sack, while Michael Bailey blocked his third kick of the year to go with a trio of tackles. Ron McGriff had a pair of tackles – each a sack – for a total of 14 yards.
Caleb Speir went 18-of-29 through the air for the Panthers for 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His main target was Tyler Benjamin who had four snags for 97 yards.
LaGrange (2-5, 1-3 USA South) scored first after a 14-play, 77-yard drive. The 6:41 slog ended with the Scots' defense standing strong. The Panthers were held to a 37-yard field goal from Alex Rivera to make the score 3-0 with 43 second left in the opening quarter.
MC (4-2, 4-0) used a seven-play, 70-yard drive to score the game's first touchdown. Chenier rushed the final 60 on his own, as the long touchdown made the score 7-3 with 13:46 left in the half.
Just 1:00 later, LaGrange would take the lead for the remainder of the half. The four-play, 73-yard drive was capped with Speir finding Austin Sapp for a 42-yard touchdown. The Panthers' extra point attempt failed, as LaGrange led 9-7 at the half.
Maryville would set the Panthers up early in the third quarter, as a Scots' fumble put LaGrange on the Scots' 5-yard line. MC's defense stood strong, as McGriff found a sack for a 10-yard loss. Bailey blocked his second field goal of the year on Rivera's 34-yard attempt to keep the score at 9-7 with 10:49 left in the third quarter.
Maryville took the lead for good on the following drive with a five-play, 70-yard drive. Chenier carried the first 42 yards of it, as Rachell covered the final 4 for a touchdown. Hubbs' kick was good for a 14-9 lead at the 9:15 mark.
Maryville opened the fourth-quarter with another score. Hubbs notched a 36-yard field goal with 14:48 left in the game. The kick capped a seven-play, 21-yard drive to make the score 24-9.
The Scots stretched their lead to 21 points at the 6:13 mark. MC held a goal line stand on the 1-yard line before going 99 yards on 10 plays. Thomas found Ogle for a 58-yard touchdown pass to make the score 30-9.
Adam Diggs led the Scots on their final scoring drive of the game, as the senior quarterback needed just two plays. Diggs found Hunter Burke for a 33-yard completion, as the Knoxville, Tenn. native finished the final yard on the ground for a 37-9 Maryville lead at the 3:57 mark.
Speir completed the scoring with a 17-yard pass to DJ Owens, as Speir's two-point attempt to David Apiag made the final score 37-17.