Second-half comeback pushes Sewanee past BSC, 31-28

Photo by Ben Breland
Photo by Ben Breland

SEWANEE, Tenn.—After leading 21-2 at the half, Birmingham-Southern gave up 31 second-half points to lose to Sewanee on the road, Saturday afternoon at Harris Stadium in Sewanee, Tenn.

BSC falls to 3-2 with its second straight loss, and 1-1 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Tigers move to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the SAA. It is the second straight year that Sewanee has beaten BSC after losing five straight to the Panthers prior to the 2012 season.

Junior Issac Nichols scored the first touchdown for the Panthers, a 12-yard run in the first quarter, and freshman Samir Usman made a one-yard dash in the second quarter to put BSC up 14-0 after both of senior Ryan Laughlin's extra points were on target. At the 8:39 mark of the second quarter, Sewanee got on the board with a safety, but the Panthers scored at the 5:58 mark on a two-yard rush by Jacob Grams to pull ahead 21-2 heading into halftime.

At the 9:40 mark of the third quarter Sewanee scored again, this time on an eight-yard rush by Devante Jones, and at the 5:03 mark senior quarterback Tyson Beacham's pass was intercepted and returned for a pick six by Cortez Brown, cutting the BSC lead to 21-16.

The Tigers took the lead at the 11:28 mark of the fourth quarter on a two-yard run by Andy Moots, pulling ahead 23-21, and then scored again with 6:48 left in the game on a one-yard rush by Curtis Johnson.

With 5:11 left to play, the Panthers found the end zone on an 18-yard pass from Beacham to junior Sam Vermilyea, cutting the Sewanee lead to 31-28. BSC had two more drives after that, making it to the Sewanee 38-yard-line on the first attempt, and then ending the second attempt with an interception at mid-field with only seconds remaining in the game.

Beacham was 14-29 with 174 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Nichols led with 81 rushing yards on 19 carries, and Vermilyea led with 104 yards receiving on five catches. Junior William Weller led the defense with 12 tackles, followed by junior Connor Shannon with 10, including a sack. Junior Ty Keenum had an interception, his third of the year, and junior LaPrintence Gunn and sophomore A.J. Ford each had a fumble recovery. Keenum and freshman Chauncy West also both had forced fumbles.

The Panthers are off this weekend after five straight games, and return to action on Oct. 19 at home against Millsaps. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Battle Field at Panther Stadium.