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November 5, 2011

Football rolls to 54-0 home shutout of SCAC rival Rhodes College

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern Panthers raced out to a 27-0 halftime lead this afternoon and never looked back on their way to a 54-0 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference football victory over the Rhodes College Lynx in Panther Stadium on the BSC campus.

The 54 points were the most by BSC in a game since reinstating football in 2007.  The previous high was 52 in a win over Faulkner University last season.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Birmingham-Southern, which now is 6-2 overall on the season and 3-2 in SCAC play.  Rhodes fell to 3-5 overall and 1-5 in league play.

It was the Panthers third straight win over the Lynx.  BSC now leads the all-time series 3-2.

Birmingham-Southern got on the scoreboard first with 2:13 left in the first quarter on a nine-yard scamper by sophomore tailback Joseph Moultrie of Birmingham.  The score capped a five-play, 43-yard drive.  The point after try by sophomore kicker Grant Talbert of Harvest was no good, and the Panthers led 6-0.

BSC extended its lead moments later.  Junior defensive end Jake Robertson of Gray, Ga., intercepted a pass by Rhodes quarterback Brett Stoots and returned it 61 yards to the Lynx 15.  Four plays later, junior tailback Shawn Morris of Pensacola, Fla., scored from two yards out.  Talbert's PAT was good and BSC led 13-0 with 12:30 left in the first half.

The Panthers would score again on their next drive, this time on a 20-yard pass from junior quarterback Jimmy Stainback of Roswell, Ga., to a leaping senior wide receiver Justin Bishop of Decatur in the right corner of the end zone.  The score capped a 10-play, 83-yard drive.  Talbert's kick gave BSC a 20-0 lead over the Lynx with 6:07 before intermission.

Birmingham-Southern was not done scoring in the first half.  Another interception of a Stoots' pass, this time by senior linebacker Dustin Massey of Geraldine, gave the Panthers the ball at the Lynx 29.  Five plays later, junior halfback John White of Collierville, Tenn., carried it in from the eight.  After Talbert's point after conversion, the Panthers led 27-0 at halftime.

BSC's Morris started the second half with a bang.  The SCAC's leading rusher took a handoff from Stainback and raced 83 yards untouched for the touchdown.  The PAT as no good, but the Panthers had quickly extended their lead to 33-0.

On Rhodes next drive, the Panthers intercepted their third Stoots' pass of the game, this time by junior defensive back Jordan Culliver of Bay Minette.  Moments later, Moultrie scored from 14 yards out.  The PAT by freshman kicker Bee Hall of Mobile was good and BSC led 40-0. 

The Panthers would add another touchdown before the third quarter ended.  Following a muffed punt return by Rhodes and a BSC recovery at the Lynx 21, Issac Nichols, a freshman tailback from Rome, Ga., scored from the three.  Hall's PAT put the Panthers up 47-0.

The scoring continued on BSC's next drive.  With second and third team players seeing plenty of action, sophomore quarterback Miles Nordgren of Gadsden hit Jay Meacham on a 35-yard scoring strike.  The freshman wide receiver from Chattanooga, Tenn., went high above the Rhodes' defender in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.  Hall's PAT pushed the final score to 54-0.

Birmingham-Southern finished the afternoon with 489 yards total offense, including 363 yards on the ground.  Morris led the way with 179 yards rushing on 13 carries and two touchdowns, giving him 1,119 rushing yards on the season.  Stainback was 10 of 11 through the air for 91 yards.

The Panther defense held Rhodes to just 12 first downs and 159 yards total offense.  Massey led BSC with six total tackles.  Freshman defensive end Connor Shannon of Trussville added two sacks and two tackles for a loss.

Birmingham-Southern closes out its season next Saturday, Nov. 12, when Millsaps College comes to Panther Stadium for the annual Homecoming/Reunion Weekend and Senior Day.  Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.