MARYVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- A battle for first place standing within the USA South Athletic Conference and an electric capacity crowd for Maryville College's Homecoming celebration, provided the ideal environment for the Scots to display their talents on Honaker Field. The LaGrange Panthers had different plans and held on to the ball for almost 42 minutes to drive out a 17-13 win over Maryville.
LaGrange used back-to-back long runs by Marquius Young and Aaron Duncan in their first possession but Maryville's defense held the Panthers to a long 47 yard field goal by Will Jeffcoat.
The Scots tried to answer on their next possession but turned the ball over on downs after a strong rushing display from MC's Travis Felder.
As the Panthers took possession, consecutive tackles for a loss by Maryville Gabe Johnson, put LaGrange deep in their own territory. An errant snap sailed over the punter Drake Nahrwold's head and MC's Mario Perone pounced on the loose ball in the end zone for the Scots' first touchdown. Dylan Miller's kick gave Maryville a 7-3 advantage going into the second quarter.
The opening drive for LaGrange in the second period saw the Panthers driving deep into MC territory. A third and six pass from Ed Russ was picked off by Ruben Rodgers on the Scots' 11 yard line to stall the drive.
A pair of drive later by LaGrange put LaGrange on the scoring doorstep once again. Russ was once again picked off, this time by senior Jacob Berwind at the Scots' 26 yard line.
As the clock wound down toward the Homecoming festivities, LaGrange mounted an 11 play, 47 yard drive in less than a minute to get into field goal range. LaGrange's Jeffcoat connected from 31 yards away to make the score 7-6 at the half.
The opening drive of the second half woke the MC crowd up in only two plays. LaGrange's Russ fumbled the first snap in the third quarter and Gabe Johnson's recovery put MC in scoring position. Travis Felder took the first snap and dashed 37 yards for the score. Miller's kick failed, but the Scots held a 13-6 lead after playing only eight seconds in the second half.
With seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, LaGrange punter Drake Nahrwold pinned MC on their own five yard line. The Panthers' Abdre Carter sacked MC signal caller Evan Pittenger in the end zone for a safety to close the gap to a 13-8 MC advantage.
The final quarter began with Maryville holding a five point lead, but the offense could not sustain a drive or turn the field possession in their favor. LaGrange recaptured the lead in their first drive of the fourth quarter. An MC fumble by quarterback Eric Sisson was followed by an eight play, 34 yard scoring drive capped by a five yard plunge by Kent Gibson. Jeffcoat's conversion gave LaGrange a 15-13 lead.
The Scots could not get anything going on offense and LaGrange would eat up the clock for the next eight minutes for a 67 yard drive. With the bal resting on the one yard line, Maryville's defense led by Dylan Wolfenbarger and Kane Crowell stuffed Kent Gibson and forced LaGrange to turn the ball over on downs.
With 99 yards to march in less than two minutes, LaGrange's Carter recorded his second safety on the afternoon with a sack of Evan Pittenger. The Panthers lead of 17-13 was safe after an on-side free kick and LaGrange would run out the clock.
LaGrange finished with 354 total offensive yards while Maryville managed only 48 total plays and 117 yards.
LaGrange (3-4, 3-1 USA South) was led by Kent Gibson's 112 yards rushing on 33 carries. Quarterback Ed Russ was 7-for-12 for 60 yards. Defensively, Andre Carter had nine tackles, three sacks, and a pair of safeties.
Maryville (3-4, 2-2 USA South) had the ball for only 18:15 the entire game. Travis Felder led MC with 44 yards on nine carries, including a 37 yard touchdown dash. Evan Pittenger was 10-for-21 in the air for 64 yards. Ed Johnson led all receivers with five catches for 48 yards. Brian Conn added four receptions. Chasen Williams helped the Scots turn the field numerous times, averaging 38 yards per punt. Defensively, the Scots played a great deal of minutes with four Scots recording double digit tackles. Dyla Wolfenbarger tallied 19 total stops. Kane Crowell and Joshua Krebs each added a dozen tackles. Gabe Johnson was all over the field with 11 tackles and an interception.
The Scots will prepare for a league road battle next week as they travel to Averett University. The kick-off in Danville, Virginia is set for 1:00 p.m. George DeBaby and AM 1850 will have the live audio call on the internet and local radio.