BSC rolls over Austin College 44-21 in SCAC gridiron clash

Box Score

The Birmingham-Southern offense piled up nearly 400 yards on the ground this afternoon, including 184 by senior tailback Walter Arrington, as the Panthers ended a two-game losing streak with a 44-21 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference football victory over Austin College in Panther Stadium on the BSC campus.

Arrington, the league’s leading rusher, also scored two touchdowns. Sophomore tailback Shawn Morris, who leads the SCAC in touchdowns, added 122 yards on the ground and scored three times. He now has 11 touchdowns on the season.

Birmingham-Southern improved to 4-2 overall on the year, and 1-2 in SCAC play. The Austin Kangaroos fell to 3-3 overall, and 1-3 in the conference.

BSC never trailed in the contest, scoring on its first possession of the game. Following a 15-yard punt by Austin’s P.J. Fuller, the Panthers took over on their own 48 and moved 52 yards in only five plays for the touchdown. Morris carried it in from the three. Following Ryan Laughlin’s extra point, the Panthers were up 7-0 with 11:39 to go in the first half. The big play of the drive was a 40-yard run by Arrington to the Austin four yard line.

The Birmingham-Southern lead was short lived, however, as the Kangaroos tied the game just three plays later on an 83-yard scamper around left end by senior running back Braydon MaQuar. With 10:50 remaining in first half the score was knotted 7-7.

The Panthers then reeled off 23 unanswered points. On the first play of Austin’s next possession, sophomore quarterback Blake Towery’s pass was picked off by freshman defensive back Jon Dean and the Panthers were in business at the Kangaroo’s 29. Five plays later, Arrington took it in from the six and BSC was up 14-7 with 7:02 still left to play in the first quarter.

BSC extended its lead to 17-7 on its next possession thanks to a 26-yard field goal by Laughlin after the Panthers drove from their own 44 to the Austin nine.

Following an Austin punt early in the second quarter, the Panthers took over on their own 39 and briskly drove 61 yards for another score. Sophomore Jimmy Stainback took it in from 26 yards out on a quarterback keeper. The extra point attempt was blocked and the BSC’s lead was 23-7 with 13:13 left in the half.

Austin drove to the BSC 29 following the kickoff, but a fumble recovery by BSC’s junior linebacker Dustin Massey on a fourth and 2 ended the threat and gave the Panthers the ball at their own 34. Seven plays later, Morris scored his second touchdown of the game, this time from three yards out and Birmingham-Southern led 30-7 with 7:13 left in the half.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Panthers attempted an onside kick that was recovered by Austin at the BSC 37. The Panther defense would stiffen as sophomore defensive back Cole Rudder picked off an errant Towery pass at the five yard line to end the Kangaroo scoring threat.

Following a BSC punt, Austin drove 55 yards in five plays with MaQuar scoring his second touchdown of the half, this time from the three with 32 seconds remaining to make the score 30-14 at intermission.

Birmingham-Southern quickly built its lead to 37-14 early in the third quarter on a 23-yard scoring run by Morris, his third of the game. Arrington later scored his second touchdown of the afternoon on a three yard run to push the Panthers to a 44-14 lead with 6:30 to go in the third quarter.

Austin would mount a late drive and score on an 11-yard pass from Towery to MaQuar with 2:56 remaining in the game to close the final margin to 44-21.

Birmingham-Southern, which entered the game leading the SCAC in rushing offense, gained 392 yards on the ground and piled up 22 first downs. The Panther defense held Austin to 280 total yards and only 12 first downs.

The BSC defense picked off three passes, including one each by Rudder, Dean, and junior defensive back Micah Baker. Sophomore defensive back Andrew Shannon had eight tackles on the day, while senior defensive lineman Justin Ray added six tackles and a sack for a nine yard loss.

Birmingham-Southern returns to action Oct. 23 as it hosts SCAC foe Sewanee for the annual Homecoming game at 1 p.m. in Panther Stadium on the BSC campus.