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Football opens season with 59-38 road victory against LaGrange

Joe Moultrie (photo by Cari Dean)

LaGRANGE, Ga.—The Birmingham-Southern football team scored eight touchdowns and a field goal en route to a 59-38 win against LaGrange to open the 2013 season on the road, Saturday, in Callaway Stadium.

BSC scored 31 unanswered points to start, beginning with a 29-yard field goal from senior Ryan Laughlin at the 5:04 mark of the first quarter. A four-yard pass from senior Tyson Beacham to senior tailback Joe Moultrie, followed by a 65-yard pass from Beacham to junior wide receiver Sam Vermilyea put BSC up 17-0. At the 11:21 mark of the second quarter, junior defensive back Ty Keenum snagged an interception - one of his two of the game - and returned it to the end zone, extending the lead to 24-0, and sophomore tailback Teddre Williams scampered seven yards at the 7:42 mark to increase the margin to 31-0.

LaGrange got on the board on the next scoring drive on a 36-yard field goal from Will Jeffcoat, and BSC would find the end zone once more before the half when Vermilyea caught a 46-yard Beacham pass. The BSC Panthers took a 38-3 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Moultrie made a four-yard run at the 7:57 mark of the third quarter to put BSC up 45-3, followed by LaGrange's first touchdown of the game at the 3:37 mark of the third, an 11-yard pass from Graham Craig to Ed Russ, cutting the lead to 45-10. Junior tailback Issac Nichols made a long 75-yard run with 3:14 left in the third quarter, putting BSC ahead 52-10 heading into the final quarter.

LaGrange was able to score three times to open the fourth quarter, all three passes from Craig to Marsalis Jackson, cutting the BSC lead to 52-32 with 4:17 left in the game. Nichols would score again with less than a minute left, wrapping up the BSC scoring on a 14-yard run to put his team up 59-32. LaGrange scored once more as time expired, a 52-yard pass from Craig to Griffin Reolle, for a final score of 59-38.

Beacham was 14-17 with three touchdowns and 210 yards, and Nichols led with 109 yards rushing and two touchdowns on eight carries. Vermilyea led with 127 receiving yards and two touchdown catches, and Moultrie also had two scores, one on the ground and one in the air.

Keenum, junior LaPrintence Gunn, and sophomore A.J. Ford led the defense with six tackles apiece. Juniors Nathan Boldt and Jacob Palmer and sophomore John Massey all had sacks, and junior Matthew Weigel had a fumble recovery. Keenum had two interceptions, and junior Austin Hansard also had a pick. Junior Devante Smith also had two pass break-ups.

The Panthers open their home slate next weekend, hosting first-year Southern Athletic Association program Hendrix College at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, on Battle Field at Panther Stadium.