GREENSBORO, N.C. – Matt Pawlowski's 42-yard touchdown pass to Adam Smith with 19.7 seconds left gave Guilford College an improbable 35-31 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football win over visiting Emory & Henry College Saturday. The Quakers (6-4, 5-2 ODAC) scored 35 unanswered second-half points to record the biggest comeback in school history and post their first winning season since 2007.
Emory & Henry (5-5, 2-5 ODAC) went ahead 31-0 on senior quarterback Kyle Boden's third touchdown pass of the game, a five-yard strike to tight end Kenton Williams that capped the second-half's opening drive. Emory & Henry went 75 yards in 13 plays and seemingly had the game in hand with 9:21 left in the third quarter.
However, the Quakers answered with an 11-play, 75-yard drive of their own and got on the scoreboard when Josh Schow plowed into the end zone from one yard out. The Quakers' Satiir Stevenson picked off a deflected Boden pass near midfield on the ensuing possession. Guilford converted the turnover into points when Pawlowski threw a 10-yard score to Smith, followed by a two-point conversion pass to Trey Dill. With under a minute to play in the third quarter, Guilford was within two touchdowns and momentum was on the Quakers' side.
After the Wasps' first third-quarter drive, Guilford's defense held Emory & Henry without a first down for three straight possessions. The Quakers' offense kept right on clicking and scored touchdowns on its final five possessions.
Pawlowski connected with Nick Mearite from 15 yards out early in the fourth quarter to make it a 31-21 game. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but the offense returned to the field less than two minutes later. Chad Christopher made a finger-tip catch from Pawlowski in the corner of the end zone, capping an eight-play, 48-yard scoring drive, which pulled Guilford to within, 31-28, with 6:33 left.
Emory & Henry finally picked up a first down on the next possession, on a personal foul penalty on Guilford. The Wasps' drive stalled, however, and they punted back to the Quakers, who took over at their own 11 with 2:26 remaining. Pawlowski completed four passes and carried twice for 13 yards before finding an open Smith from 42 yards out with the winning score.
The Wasps took over with 14 seconds left, but stalled on Guilford's 42-yard line with a Boden incompletion under heavy pressure from Jordan Sutton.
Pawlowski completed 37-of-52 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns to finish with 24 touchdowns and three interceptions in his sophomore campaign. Classmate Hayden Read caught a career-high 12 passes for 102 yards and Smith finished with six grabs for 100 yards and two scores. Schow, Christopher and Nick Mearite all had five catches. Junior Hunter English paced the Quakers' defense with eight tackles in his first game in six weeks due to a hand injury.
Boden threw for 245 yards and three scores on 20-of-31 passing in his final college game. Lucas Kirby caught five passes for 69 yards and a first-quarter touchdown. Cleo Cooper made four grabs for 114 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter that gave the guests a 24-0 halftime lead. Emory & Henry linebacker Paul Forney led all players with 15 tackles.