Randolph-Macon Football Edged by Guilford, 28-24 Quakers Come Out on Top in Back-and-Forth ODAC Battle

Ashland, VA - Sophomore quarterback David Hessler (Rockville, MD/Walter Johnson) completed 16-of-26 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns, and sophomore receiver J.J. Edwards (Mims, FL/Astronaut) had a career-high five receptions for 106 yards and one touchdown, to help visiting Guilford to a 28-24 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football victory over Randolph-Macon Saturday. The game-winning touchdown came on a 52-yard pass from Hessler to Edwards on a flea-flicker with 7:00 remaining in the contest 22 seconds after Randolph-Macon had taken a 24-21 lead.

Guilford freshman O.J. Batts (Wallace, NC/Rose Hill) made a school-record three interceptions in the win, including a potentially game-saving pick on the Quakers' goal line with 40 seconds left. Two of Batts' picks led to a Guilford touchdown, as did a fumble he forced on a kickoff in the fourth quarter.

With the loss, the Yellow Jackets fall to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the ODAC. The Quakers are now 1-4 on the season, and also 1-2 in the conference. The win was Guilford's first over Randolph-Macon since 1997. The 28 points scored by the Quakers were more than their total of 19 points scored in the first four games this season, and are the most Guilford has scored in a game since a 28-14 victory over Bridgewater on October 17, 1998.

A bright spot for Randolph-Macon was the record-breaking performance of senior wide receiver Michael Becker (Richmond, VA/Douglas Freeman). With six receptions for 99 yards, he passed Guilford's Junior Lord as the ODAC's career receiving yards leader with 3,163 total receiving yards. Becker broke Lord's ODAC career receptions record in the Yellow Jackets' season opener and has 237 catches.

Randolph-Macon jumped out to a 10-0 second-quarter lead, but the Quakers answered with two consecutive touchdowns to go ahead 14-10 at halftime. With 6:14 left in the first half, Hessler completed a 29-yard pass for a touchdown to junior tight end Nick Lamotta (Rolesville, NC/Wake Forest-Rolesville). The kick was blocked, but the Randolph-Macon advantage was only 10-6.

With 25 seconds left before halftime, freshman running back Marcus Ballard (Burgaw, NC/Pender) scored on a two-yard run for his first career touchdown, and Guilford's first rushing score of the season. Batts set up the score by returning his first interception of the day 44 yards to the Randolph-Macon 28-yard line. The pass from Hessler to Lamotta for the two-point conversion was good, and the Quakers took a 14-10 lead into the locker room.

The Yellow Jackets and their guests traded touchdowns for the rest of the game. With only 3:01 remaining in the third quarter, Randolph-Macon sophomore receiver Wes Buckner (Chesterfield, VA/Manchester) caught a 24-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Hunter Price (Charlottesville, VA/Albemarle) to put the hosts up 17-14.

The rest of the scoring came in the fourth period. Following at Batts interception at the Yellow Jackets' 15-yard line, Guilford's Hessler kept the ball and scored on a three-yard run, and the Quakers were ahead again, 21-17.

Randolph-Macon regained the lead with 7:22 left in the contest, on a 14-yard run by Clint Sullivan. The advantage was 24-21.

Guilford's Jerrell Gillard (Anderson, SC/Westside) returned the ensuing kickoff to the Quakers' 48-yard line, which led to the winning touchdown pass. The play started as an end around with Hessler handing off to receiver James Hereford, who was in motion. Hereford handed off to tailback Marques Williams, who turned and tossed the ball back to Hessler. Hessler hit the streaking Edwards down the middle of the field for the winning play from 52 yards out.

Offensively for Guilford, following the performances by Hessler and Edwards, Lamotta finished with five receptions for 85 yards and one touchdown. Freshman kicker Kyle Mansfield (Asheboro, NC/Asheboro) converted his first two career extra points.

Senior linebacker Carlos Landin (Cary, NC/Howell [NJ]) led Guilford's defense with nine tackles, three for a total loss of three yards. Junior linebacker Jake Sorg (Andover, NJ/Lenape Valley Regional) had seven stops and one seven-yard fumble recovery.

Guilford opens a three-game home stand next Saturday against league-rival Bridgewater.

- Ann Schlottman, RMC Sports Information