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Terriers stop Bucs' five-game winning streak

Jeff Birchfield • Oct 20, 2018 at 7:10 PM

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Lennox McAfee and Andre Stoddard combined for four rushing touchdowns to lead No. 12-ranked Wofford to a 30-17 win over No. 21 East Tennessee State on Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium that forced a tie atop the Southern Conference football standings.

The Terriers (5-2, 4-1) pulled out to a 17-0 lead before the Bucs (6-2, 4-1) rallied to cut it to just seven points at the half. However, the Terriers capitalized on a pair of second-half miscues: a roughing-the-punter penalty on fourth-and-31 that kept a drive alive and an ETSU fumble on the next drive. Wofford scored after both, resulting in a 20-point lead.

ETSU rallied for another touchdown late, but the Bucs weren't able to get any closer — putting an end to their five-game winning streak.

"We shot ourselves in the foot from the opening possession," ETSU coach Randy Sanders said. "Wofford has a good football team and we're improving and getting better, but we aren't going to make a lot of mistakes and overcome it, especially (against) a team as quality as what they are. We had people running the wrong routes, couldn't get lined up and had problems with cadence and signal issues on the first couple of possessions.

"I keep telling the team you're going to play like you prepare. It's not practice. It's preparation because you're going out there preparing to play. Honestly, I thought we played like we prepared this week. Hopefully, we'll do a little better with attention to detail. Sometimes when you win, you assume you're just going to go out there and win every week."

The Bucs weren't able to stop the rushing attack led by McAfee, who carried the ball 12 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Stoddard had 12 carries for 54 yards and, as a team, the Terriers ended with 50 rushes for 295 yards.

"They know how to work the option pretty good," ETSU defensive back Tyree Robinson said. "I give credit to Wofford and what they've done. It was a tough-fought game, but we have to move on to the next one and keep fighting."

Quarterback Austin Herink completed 21 of 33 passes for 201 yards. Quay Holmes rushed 13 times for 61 yards and Anthony Spagnoletti hauled in five catches for 57 yards.

TERRIERS TEAR IT UP EARLY

Wofford got on the scoreboard first with a 20-yard field goal by Kyle Carter. The Terriers went 95 yards on their next drive, scoring on a 6-yard touchdown run by Stoddard for a 10-0 lead. They stopped ETSU on the Bucs' next possession and, two plays later, McAfee broke free 44 yards for a touchdown.

ETSU finally flipped the field the next possession, and a Marion Watson punt pinned the Terriers on their 1-yard line. Two plays later, the  Jason Maduafokwa and Tremond Ferrell combined to force a Nathan Walker fumble that Robinson recovered in the end zone for the first Bucs touchdown.

"It was a good team play, but at the end of the day, we didn't make enough of them," Maduafokwa said. "It's tough because you've got to execute the plays when they're called. Wofford is a very good team and we need to get better. Hopefully, we will get to meet them later in the season. There is a lot to learn from this game and it taught me we have to execute better."

Late in the second quarter, Herink led a scoring drive from the ETSU 11, a march that ended with JJ Jerman’s 44-yard field goal. The last play of the half left the Bucs down 17-10 at intermission.

SECOND-HALF MISCUES

The roughing-the-punter penalty came in the third quarter and led to an 8-yard touchdown run by McAfee. After a fumble recovery at the ETSU 21, the Terriers took advantage of another short field with a 3-yard TD run by Stoddard.

The Bucs weren't done, though. Following an interception by Robinson, Herink led the Bucs on another scoring drive, capped by Quay Holmes' 1-yard run.

But the Terriers made a pair of first downs in the closing minutes to close out the game.

Titus Tucker and Blake Bockrath had 10 tackles apiece to lead ETSU. Robinson had eight tackles and came up with two turnovers.

"I can't give myself the credit," Robinson said. "I owe it to my D-line and the team. I have to give it to them for pushing through and fighting to the end. We just had some penalties we didn't need."

ETSU totaled eight penalties for 66 yards.

NEXT UP

The Bucs will look to get back on track when they host Western Carolina next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Greene Stadium.

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