MARYVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- A strong first half and numerous defensive stops in the second half led the Maryville College Fighting Scots past Methodist University by the score of 35-26 on Saturday afternoon on MC's Honaker Field.
The capacity homecoming crowd was a bit stunned when Methodist's opening play was a 49 yard pass reception from Max Reber to Vaughn Cross giving the Monarchs the ball on the Scots' 35 yard line. Four plays later, Jordan Van plunged into the end zone from a yard out. Cody Ausherman's kick gave the visitors a 7-0 lead.
The Scots' high-powered offense looked to answer on their first possession. A drive that featured a 35-yard pass from Evan Pittenger to Blake Williams and another quick strike from Pittenger to Williams put Mc on the doorstep. On the Methodist eleven-yard line, Travis Felder had a burst through the line and scored on an eleven run scamper.
A poor Maryville punt gave the Monarchs the ball on MC's 36 yard line. The Scots defense held with key stops by Josh Krebs, Zach Capehart, and Jamie Owen forcing Methodist to attempt a 22-yard field goal. Ausherman split the uprights and Methodist took a 10-7 lead with 4:42 remaining in the first quarter.
The Scots trailed for the last time when that put together a seven play, 75 yard drive on their next possession. A 44-yard pass from Pittenger to Blake Williams and an 18 yard rush from Pittenger put MC on the three yard line. A few attempts later Travis Felder hit pay dirt from four yards out. Lucas Underwood's second consecutive PAT was good and Maryville closed out the first quarter with a 14-10 advantage.
To begin the second period, Maryville's Gabe Johnson blocked a punt giving the Scots the ball on the Monarch's 41 yard line. A 23 yard strike from Pittenger to Williams gave MC the ball within the 20. Four consecutive runs by MC's signal caller resulted in a three-yard TD run. Underwood's kick was good and Maryville extended their lead to 21-10.
Before the half, Gabe Johnson forced a fumble and Ruben Rodgers recovered on the Scots' 40-yard line. An 18-yard dash by Pittenger put MC at midfield. Pittenger hit Ed Johnson with a 12-yard pass then found Johnson once again for a 31-yard touchdown strike. Underwood's conversion made the score 28-10 as MC's fans began homecoming celebrations at the half.