Terriers trounce ETSU

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR CORRESPONDENT
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   JOHNSON CITY--The East Tennessee State Buccaneers didn't have much trouble defending the pass on Saturday, but trying to control the Wofford ground game became an impossible task in a 39-10 loss at Memorial Center.
   The Terriers threw just two passes the entire ball game, but 70 rushes for 499 yards were all they needed as the Bucs found themselves on their heels throughout the contest.
   "We had to take the sting out of them early and get some points on the board, and our offense did a real nice job for us tonight," said Wofford coach Mike Ayers.
   Wofford scored on its second series of offense in the opening period, when J.R. McNair busted through the line for a 30-yard touchdown run.
   McNair had three carries for 64 yards on the drive, and the Bucs showed little resistance in stopping the Terriers up the middle.
   "Our biggest strength has been taking it right at people, and their scheme was trying to keep us from getting to the perimeter, so our next option was to work it inside," said Ayers.
   The Bucs responded with a nice drive themselves, as a 21-yard connection from Jatavis Sanders to Cecil Moore moved the ball down inside the Terriers 25.
   "Overall I'm happy with my career here, and I'm grateful that ETSU has given me a chance to do a lot of great things, but as far as the season I wish it had been a little better," said the senior Moore.
   Faced with a third down and three on the 9, Sanders elected to take a knee, after thinking he had drawn the defense off-sides.
   There was no flag, and the Bucs were forced to try a 26-yard field goal, but the chip shot by Braye Walters missed wide to the right, denying ETSU of the scoring opportunity.
   Wofford continued to pound away at the Buc defense by keeping it on the ground and driving down the field.
   After getting down to the Buc 20, Jeff Zolman attempted his first pass and hit Tommy Chandler for a 20-yard touchdown down the right side.
   A low, bad snap on the extra-point attempt made the score 13-0 in favor of Wofford with 13:00 left in the second quarter.
   The Bucs caught a break on the Terriers' next possession, when Zolman was stripped of the ball by Andrew Forrester.
   Gerald Sensabaugh picked up the loose ball on the 20, and took it from there to score and pull the Bucs back within six.
   "Their 10 points were given up by the offense and not the defense, and the credit goes to our kids for coming up here and knowing what's at stake," said Ayers.
   Wofford's offense was flawless from that point on, as it added a couple of touchdowns before the half was up.
   Zolman faked a hand off to McNair inside, then took off to scamper for a 31-yard touchdown run.
   "We're missing quite a few linebackers and defensive lineman, and we knew coming in it was going to be tough. They just got the best of us," said ETSU's Scott Brumett.
   Brumett led the Bucs with eight solo tackles and ten assisted for a total of 18 on the night.
   The last score of the half came from a 15-yard sweep to the right by Jesse McCoy, which made it a 26-7 advantage for Wofford at the intermission.
   ETSU came out in the second half and grabbed another score off the defense's fumble recovery.
   Brandon Calton ripped the ball from McCoy on the sweep play, and Jamal Rocke pounced on it at the Terriers 28.
   The Bucs were unable to capitalize with a touchdown off of the great field position, but Braye Walters came in to nail a 42-yard field-goal attempt.
   Wofford was kept from scoring in the third quarter, but to start the final period the Terriers made a successful drive, with Zolman running a 10-yard quarterback keeper play for the score.
   ETSU was unable to answer, as it had just one first down total in the second half with Sanders trying to elude the relentless pressure.
   "We've struggled so much in trying to execute consecutively on drives, and it seems like every time we get a chance to make something happen, we do something else to hurt us," said ETSU coach Paul Hamilton.
   Gaven Varner was held to 20 yards rushing (on 7 carries) for the night, as the Bucs had a total of 41 yards on the ground.
   There wasn't much Buccaneer success through the air either, with just 76 yards total and 61 of them coming in the first half.
   "Our offensive team has played the last three weeks without scoring a touchdown, and to be honest I never felt like I would coach a team where that would happen," said Hamilton.
   The last touchdown for Wofford came with 2:52 left, when Gabriel Jackson ran for 32 yards on a toss toward the left side and cut back to the middle.
   "A lot of credit goes out to the Wofford football team. There's no fluke about what they've accomplished, and they have really developed into a strong team this season," said Hamilton.