BSC and Huntingdon face off in first annual Wesley Cup showdown, Saturday

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The only two Division III schools in the state of Alabama, Birmingham-Southern (4-4) and Huntingdon (7-1), will face off on the gridiron in the first annual Wesley Cup Game, Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1:30 p.m. at Panther Stadium in Birmingham. Saturday’s game is also part of Homecoming Weekend 2009 for Birmingham-Southern.

Saturday will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

BSC enters the game with a 4-4 record after losing at home last weekend to DePauw University, 35-21. Junior quarterback Joe Thigpen leads the BSC offense with 991 passing yards and is 71-of-144 with six picks. He has thrown five touchdown passes, and also rushed to the end zone five times. Thigpen is third on the team with 329 rushing yards on 137 carries.

Junior tailback Walter Arrington, who was recently named College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)/ESPN The Magazine First-Team Academic All-District, leads the Panthers on the ground with 430 yards rushing and six touchdowns on 82 carries, followed closely by freshman halfback Shawn Morris with 423 yards rushing and a team-high seven touchdowns on 63 carries.

Junior wide receiver David Langston, who is out for Saturday’s game with an injury, leads with 241 yards and a touchdown on 15 catches. Freshman Johnny Lawroski will start in his place for the second straight week; Lawroski is third on the team with 131 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches. Arrington has also made 14 catches for a total of 154 yards, and leads the team with 921 all-purpose yards.

Sophomore Andrew Shannon leads the defense with 44 total tackles (21 solo, 23 assisted), while junior Jeremy Jones and sophomore Sam Bratt lead with three sacks apiece. Freshman Chris Reeves leads with two interceptions, both recorded in last week’s game against DePauw.

Huntingdon heads into tomorrow’s game with a 7-1 record after most recently defeating LaGrange College, 51-13, and is riding a five-game winning streak. Quarterback Justin Ridgeway leads with 2,364 yards and 18 touchdowns and is 140-of-259 with seven interceptions. He has also rushed for one touchdown. Alex Baronich leads with 944 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on 176 carries, and Cody Pearcy leads with 580 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 31 catches. Keith Anthony leads on defense with 56 total tackles (35 solo, 21 assisted), as well as eight interceptions. D.J. Chappell leads with 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Prior to Saturday’s game, which is the last home game of the season for the Panthers, seniors Victor Allen, John Bailey, Michael Franklin, Raymond Josof, Brad Stockdale, Tay Walker, and Dion Watts will be honored.

BSC wraps up the 2009 season next weekend, traveling to Jackson, Miss., to face Millsaps College, who is currently ranked first in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference standings. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.