Panthers remain undefeated with 34-10 conference road victory at Austin College

Shawn Morris
Shawn Morris

SHERMAN, Texas—Junior tailback Shawn Morris rushed for a school record 202 yards today as the Birmingham-Southern College Panthers kept their unbeaten record intact with a 34-10 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference win over the Austin College Kangaroos.

Morris of Pensacola, Fla., broke his own school record he set in the first game of the season with 193 yards rushing at LaGrange College.  He also scored three touchdowns against Austin College to pace the Panthers.  On the season, Morris now has 729 yards on the ground and nine touchdowns.

Birmingham-Southern improved to 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in the SCAC.  Austin College fell to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the SCAC.

BSC is 3-2 all time against Austin College, winning the last three meetings.

The Panthers started quickly on the afternoon.  On the second play of the game, Morris, who entered the contest as the SCAC's leading rusher averaging 132 yards a game, rambled 76 yards for a touchdown with just 48 seconds elapsed in the contest.  The extra point by sophomore kicker Ryan Laughlin of Fort Payne put BSC up 7-0.

On its next possession, Birmingham-Southern drove 81 yards in 10 plays with Morris scoring again, this time from the two.  Laughlin's PAT gave BSC a quick 14-0 lead with 8:27 remaining in the first quarter.

The Panthers moved in front 21-0 before time expired in the first quarter, with junior quarterback Jimmy Stainback of Roswell, Ga., hitting freshman wide receiver Sam Vermilyea of Monroeville from nine yards out to cap a 56 yard drive. Laughlin's point after try was good again.

Laughlin ended the scoring in the first half with a 26 yard field goal midway through the second quarter, giving the Panthers a 24-0 halftime lead.

Birmingham-Southern continued its scoring barrage in the second half.  Junior defensive back Andrew Shannon of Trussville picked off his fourth pass of the season on Austin College's first possession of the third quarter.  Five plays later, Morris found the end zone for the third time on the afternoon, this time from 36 yards out.  Laughlin's kick gave the Panthers a 31-0 lead.

The Kangaroos would get on the scoreboard late in the third quarter on a 37 yard field goal by senior kicker Mitch Anderson.

BSC's Laughlin added a 30 yard field goal in the fourth quarter to push BSC to a 34-3 lead.

Austin College would tack on a late touchdown on a one yard run by junior running back Broc Boyd for the final 34-10 margin.

The Panthers, who lead the SCAC in total offense, piled up 548 yards, including 379 on the ground.  BSC held the Kangaroos to just 216 yards offense and 69 yards rushing.

In addition to Morris' record-setting day, Stainback was 16-26 passing for 169 yards and the one touchdown.  Sophomore wide receiver Tyler Johnson of Milton, Fla., caught seven of those passes for 70 yards.

Senior linebacker Dustin Massey of Geraldine led BSC with 11 tackles including a sack and a tackle for a loss.  Shannon added nine tackles.  Senior defensive back Micah Baker of Springville added an interception for the Panthers, his third of the season.  Junior defensive back Jeffery Steele of Chalkville picked off his first pass of the season for Birmingham-Southern.

After taking next week off, Birmingham-Southern finally returns home again Oct. 15 to face conference opponent Centre College in Panther Stadium at 1 p.m.