BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Behind a single-game record 395 rushing yards, and led by junior Walter Arrington with a single-game record 165 yards and three touchdowns, the Birmingham-Southern football team defeated Rhodes College at home, 51-17, Saturday afternoon at rain-soaked Panther Stadium. BSC moves to 2-1 with the win, while Rhodes falls to 2-2.
The Panthers got on the board in the first quarter after a Rhodes turnover, courtesy of a fumble forced by senior John Bailey and recovered by sophomore Ross Cotney. The resulting drive ended in a seven-yard touchdown run by Arrington. Senior Raymond Josof made the extra point to put BSC up 7-0 at the 8:21 mark of the first quarter.
Less than four minutes later, Arrington found the end zone again on a 30-yard rush. Josof’s kick was good, putting the Panthers up 14-0 with 4:35 left in the quarter.
On the first play of BSC’s next possession, freshman Shawn Morris ran 79 yards for another Panther touchdown. Josof’s third extra point attempt was good to put BSC up 21-0 at the 2:41 mark of the first quarter.
At the 8:36 mark of the second quarter, with Rhodes at the eight yard line on a first down, the game went into a 45-minute weather delay due to lightning in the immediate area.
After the game resumed, Rhodes got on the board with a 20-yard field goal by Lukas Stockhausen to cut the lead to 21-3 at the 7:39 mark of the second quarter.
BSC scored again on its next drive, capped off by a 28-yard run by junior David Langston and another good kick by Josof, putting the Panthers up 28-3 with 5:22 left in the half.
With 21 seconds left in the half, the BSC defense came up with a huge play as junior Trae Strain intercepted the ball and ran it back 58 yards for a touchdown, breaking the previous single-game record of 44 interception return yards. Josof missed the extra point attempt in the rainy weather, and the Panthers took a 34-3 lead into the halftime break.
Rhodes scored its first touchdown of the game at the 11:31 mark of the third quarter on a four-yard rush by Harrison Daniel. Stockhausen made the extra point, bringing the score to 34-10 in favor of BSC.
At the 5:06 mark of the third quarter, Josof made a 33-yard field goal that hit the cross bar and bounced over to put BSC up 37-10.
On BSC’s next drive, junior quarterback Joe Thigpen was intercepted by Pete Bilan, but four plays later, Rhodes fumbled the ball again and it was recovered by sophomore Andrew Shannon at the Rhodes 23 yard line. That drive ended in a 13-yard touchdown run by Arrington, and a good kick by Josof, putting BSC up 44-10 with 13:12 left in the game.
With 12:00 left to play, Rhodes scored again on a 38-yard pass from Mike Burel to Jake Jackson. The Stockhausen kick was good, cutting the BSC lead to 44-17.
The Panthers answered with a touchdown at the 5:37 mark on a 24-yard run by Morris. Josof made the extra point, increasing the lead to 51-17.
Neither team would score again, and BSC came away with the 34-point victory.
The Panthers broke the single-game rushing yards record with 395 yards on the ground today, led by Arrington with 165 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns. Morris wasn’t far behind with 146 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns. Langston ran for 76 yards on 7 carries and one touchdown. Morris and Arrington each recorded 165 all-purpose yards. Thigpen was 3-of-10 with one interception and 70 yards passing.
On defense, sophomore Dustin Massey led BSC with 11 tackles, while Chris Bell led Rhodes with 12, followed by Andrew Meier and Bradley McCollum with 10 apiece.
Rhodes recorded most of its yards in the air, tallying 231 total passing yards. Burel was 8-of-23 with 118 yards and a touchdown, and starter Brett Stoots was 11-of-21 with two interceptions and 113 yards. Daniel led the Lynx on the ground with 49 yards and a touchdown, followed by Burel with 46 yards. Jackson led on the receiving end with 84 yards on five catches and a touchdown.
The Panthers are on the road next weekend, traveling to take on No. 11 Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, at 12:30 p.m.