Sep 10, 2010
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern Panthers travel to Montgomery this weekend for their first-ever football matchup with the Faulkner University Eagles. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. in Crampton Bowl.
The BSC Panthers opened the season last weekend with a 28-19 victory over LaGrange College. It was the program’s first win over LaGrange after losing the previous two seasons in the final seconds of each game.
This weekend’s contest with BSC is Faulkner’s season opener.
Birmingham-Southern was paced in its season-opening win by senior David Langston, who returned a punt 86 yards and a kickoff 89 yards, both for touchdowns and both school records. For his efforts, the wide receiver from Holt, Fla., was named the Special Teams Player of the Week by the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. However, Langston suffered a knee injury toward the end of the game and will likely not play against Faulkner.
Offensively, the Panthers were led by senior tailback Walter Arrington with 137 yards on 22 carries, and senior quarterback Joe Thigpen, who hit on seven of 10 passes for 108 yards. Defensively, BSC was led by senior linebacker David Kelley with seven total tackles and junior defensive lineman Sam Brätt with six tackles, including 2.5 tackles for losses. Junior defensive back Andrew Shannon added five tackles. Junior linebacker Dustin Massey sealed the victory with a late interception and 36-yard return.
“Last week’s effort was an accumulation of the hard work our players have been putting in since the end of last football season,” said BSC third-year head coach Eddie Garfinkle. “A year ago we were unable to find ways to win in close games. In the fourth quarter, our defense had two three-and-outs and an interception to stop LaGrange’s last drive. Our offense had a 41-yard touchdown drive to put us up by nine points, and then ran the clock out at the end of the game.”
Faulkner, under the direction of second-year head coach Gregg Baker, competes at the scholarship NAIA level in the Mid-South Conference. Baker’s first squad finished 2-9 last season.
The Eagles return seven offensive starters from last year’s squad, including all-purpose yardage leader Triston McCathern, a sophomore running back, and leading receiver Jurell Williams, a senior. Faulkner returns four starters on defense.
“We expect another game that will probably come down to the fourth quarter this week.” BSC’s Garfinkle said. “This is Faulkner’s first game of the year, so we are going strictly off of last year’s film. They look very athletic at the skill positions. You can tell they have football scholarships. The league they play in is a completely different level than our league. It will be a tremendous challenge this weekend but we are looking forward to it.”
The game can be heard on Birmingham-Southern’s live streaming Internet radio broadcast featuring play-by-play by Josh Caray. The free online broadcasts, as well as Live Stats, will be accessible through www.bscsports.net and will begin approximately 15 minutes before kickoff.
Birmingham-Southern takes next weekend off before traveling back to Montgomery on Sept. 25 to face the Huntingdon Hawks in the second annual Wesley Cup game at 1 p.m. in Samford Stadium on the Huntingdon campus.