LAGRANGE, Ga. – Josh Stripling’s school-record fourth field goal as time expired lifted LaGrange College to a 30-27 win over Birmingham-Southern at Callaway Stadium on Saturday. It was the season opener for both teams.
The Panthers opened up the scoring barely 30 seconds into the first quarter on a 62-yard run by junior #David Langston#. LaGrange cut the lead to 7-6 only 12 seconds later on a 52-yard pass from Drew Carter to Mario Wallace. Wallace made a 14-yard run at the 11:30 mark to put LaGrange up 12-7, and Josh Stripling hit the first of his four field goals with 2:24 left in the quarter to put LC up 15-7.
Neither team scored in the second quarter, but LaGrange scored again at the 12:12 mark of the third quarter on a four-yard Devin Billings run, putting the Panthers up 21-7. Stripling hit another field goal with 3:57 left, putting LaGrange up 24-7, before BSC finally got on the board again as sophomore #Eric Nordgren# caught a 66-yard pass from junior quarterback #Joe Thigpen#, cutting the lead to 24-14.
Stripling made his third field goal to open scoring in the fourth quarter, putting LaGrange up 27-14, at the 6:24 mark. With 2:54 left in the game, Thigpen connected with junior #Chris Mauck# on a 32-yard pass to cut LaGrange's lead to 27-21. 51 seconds later, junior #Walter Arrington# made a 23-yard run to tie things up, 27-27. The extra point attempt was blocked by LaGrange's Alex Sapp, and, as time expired, LaGrange drove down the field and Stripling made his fourth field goal to give LaGrange the three-point victory.
For LaGrange, Wallace finished the game with 239 all-purpose yards, and Dustin Cannon rushed for a game-high 100 yards on 15 carries (98 yards in the second half alone) in his collegiate debut for the Panthers. Quarterback Carter was 19-for-27 for 193 yards, the one touchdown pass and was not intercepted.
For BSC, Langston and Arrington led with 114 and 113 all-purpose yards, respectively, and Langston also led with 70 yards rushing on four carries. Thigpen was 12-for-18 for 150 yards and two touchdown passes. Nordgren led with 81 receiving yards on three catches. Senior kicker #Raymond Josof# made three of his four extra point attempts, with the fourth one being blocked by LaGrange.
Junior linebacker #Ryan Carelson# led the defense with nine tackles, and junior defensive back #Trae Strain# had a pass break-up and a fumble recovery. Sophomore #Sam Brätt# also had a sack.
The Panthers are at home for their next game, hosting Campbell University, Saturday, Sept. 12, at noon at Panther Stadium. For ticket information, call (205) 226-7795.