BSC wins share of SAA championship with 35-21 victory over Millsaps

Sam Vermilyea (Photo courtesy of Millsaps College)
Sam Vermilyea (Photo courtesy of Millsaps College)

JACKSON, Miss.—Senior Shawn Morris scored three touchdowns en route to a 35-21 Birmingham-Southern victory against Southern Athletic Association rival Millsaps on Saturday, clinching a share of the conference championship for the Panthers in the last game of the season.

Both teams finish the season with overall records of 7-3 and 3-1 marks in conference play, sharing the league crown. Today was the Panthers' second-straight win against the Majors, moving the series record to 2-4.

BSC scored the first two touchdowns of the game, both by Morris, beginning with a two-yard run at the 12:34 mark. Morris then caught an eight-yard pass from senior quarterback Jimmy Stainback at the 5:37 mark of the first quarter. Junior Ryan Laughlin made both extra points to put the Panthers up 14-0.

A two-yard run by Mike Barthelemy with 38 seconds left in the quarter cut the BSC lead to 14-7.

Morris found the end zone again five minutes into the second quarter, making a seven-yard run for his 10th touchdown of the season. Laughlin's kick was on the mark to give BSC a 21-7 lead.

Senior quarterback Garrett Pinciotti cut BSC's lead to 21-14 at the 7:54 mark of the second quarter, but the Panthers would score twice more before halftime. Junior tailback Joseph Moultrie made a 14-yard run, and sophomore Sam Vermilyea made a 29-yard run, with both of Laughlin's kicks going through the uprights to put BSC up 35-14.

Millsaps would score one final time on a two-yard Barthelemy run at the 1:25 mark of the third quarter, and neither team would score in the fourth quarter, with BSC winning 35-21.

Morris finished the game with 255 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 38 carries, as well as one touchdown reception. Stainback was 6-of-13 with 52 yards and a touchdown.

Junior linebacker Anderson Porter led the BSC defense with seven tackles (five solo) as well as an interception which he returned 10 yards, and a pass break-up.

The Panthers broke the single-game team rushing yards record with 426, and also had over twice as many first downs as Millsaps with 33 (the Majors had 14).