BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern Panthers scored four touchdowns over an eight-minute span of the second quarter en route to a 50 to 10 Homecoming football victory over Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Sewanee Tigers this afternoon in front of 3,462 in Panther Stadium.
Birmingham-Southern improved to 5-2 overall on the year, and 2-2 in SCAC play. Sewanee fell to 1-7 overall, and 0-5 in the conference. The five wins by BSC are the most in a season since reinstating the football program in 2007 after a 68-year absence.
BSC is now 4-1 all-time against Sewanee dating back to 1921.
The Panthers and Tigers exchanged field goals for the only scoring in the first quarter. Birmingham-Southern got on the scoreboard first on its initial possession of the game on a 30-yard field goal by freshman Ryan Laughlin. Sewanee tied it up on the ensuing drive on a 46-yard field goal by senior Geoffrey Marolda.
Birmingham-Southern then began to pull away with four second quarter touchdowns.
The Panthers first found the end zone early in the second period on a double reverse pass from junior wide receiver Eric Nordgren to sophomore wide receiver Aaron Sherrill. The 26-yard scoring strike and Laughlin point after touchdown put the Panthers up 10-3 with 13:46 to play in the first half.
Following a Sewanee punt, the Panthers got on the scoreboard again, this time on a four yard quarterback keeper by sophomore Jimmy Stainback. The key play of the drive was a 38-yard run by senior talkback Walter Arrington. BSC had extended its lead to 17-3 with 8:47 to go before halftime.
The Tigers were forced to punt again on their next possession. BSC sophomore wide receiver John Lawroski fielded the kick on his own 23 yard line and returned it 74 yards before being forced out of bounds on the Sewanee three. Arrington bulled his way into the end zone on the next play and the Panthers were up 24-3 with 6:20 still to play in the half.
On its very next offensive play, Sewanee quarterback Lee Schurlknight's pass was tipped by BSC junior linebacker Dustin Massey and then picked off by sophomore defensive back Jeffery Steele who returned it 35 yards for the touchdown. The Panthers led 31-3 going to the locker room.
Birmingham-Southern continued its scoring on its first possession of the third quarter as Stainback hit Nordgren on a 27-yard scoring strike to make the score 38-3 with 11:37 still to play in the third quarter.
Sewanee closed to gap to 38-10 on a 52-yard pass from Schrulknight to senior wide receiver John Ugorji to make the score 38:10 with 10:47 left in the third.
The Panthers quickly got that score back on a touchdown on special teams. Senior defensive back Zac Napier blocked a Sewanee punt, picked it up, and returned it six yards to the end zone to put Birmingham-Southern back up by 34 points at 44-10.
On its next possession, BSC reached the half century mark as freshman quarterback Chase Childers found sophomore wide receiver Edward Robinson on a nine-yard scoring toss to extend the lead to the final margin of 50-10 as time expired in the third quarter. The point after touchdown was no good.
Offensively, Birmingham-Southern finished with 18 first downs and 353 yards in total offense. The league's leading rushing team racked up 279 yards on the ground. Arrington, the SCACs leading rusher, finished the afternoon with 123 yards on 14 carries.
The Panther defense held Sewanee to 265 yards and 15 first downs. Senior defensive end Jeremy Jones finished the day with six tackles, including three sacks. Napier added an interception to his blocked punt and touchdown.
Birmingham-Southern travels to Greencastle, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 30, to face league-leading and defending conference champion DePauw University at noon at Blackstock Stadium.