WASHINGTON - Guilford College was outgained by nearly 300 yards. But three huge plays on special teams and six takeaways allowed the Quakers to leave DuFour Field with a 32-23 victory over Catholic University in Old Dominion Athletic Conference action Saturday.
Junior wide receiver Chris McKinney scored three times to lead Guilford (3-6, 2-3) to its first win over the Cardinals (3-6, 1-4) in three tries. His 9-yard touchdown reception from Josh Smith concluded a six-play drive with 3:53 to conclude the scoring. The key play was a muffed punt return by CUA that McKinney recovered at the Cardinal 19 with 6:42 to go.
McKinney opened the scoring with an 86-yard punt return down the right sidelines to tie the NCAA record for most punt return TDs in a season. He is the fifth NCAA Division III player to accompish the feat. Former Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys running back Chris Warren did it last for Ferrum in 1989.
After Greg Stokes hit a 34-yard field goal to draw CUA within 13-10 midway though the third period, sophomore running back Marcus Ballard returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to put Guilford on top, 20-10. Smith, who replaced an injured Oren Robinson, then hooked up with McKinney for a 21-yard TD. Senior strong safety Jimmy Nalls blocked his second extra point of the game to hold the Quaker lead to 26-10.
CUA junior James Vollono scored on a 3-yard run early in the fourth quarter but Derek McGee's 2-point pass attempt failed. McGee cut it to 26-23 when he found sophomore Patrick Truxillo (seven receptions, 130 yards) in the right corner of the end zone with 7:58 remaining. McGee, who rushed for a career-high 110 yards on 15 carries, was 21 of 44 for 305 yards, one TD and a season-high three interceptions. His 346 pass attempts for the year broke the Cardinal record of 324, set by Dave Long in 1985.
The Cards posted 477 yards of total offense to Guilford's 184. CUA fumbled five times and lost three. The Quakers lost both of their fumbles and were not picked off.
Ballard rushed for a team-high 63 yards on 14 attempts, including a 45-yard jaunt as Guilford jumped to a 13-0 lead. McGee found Dan Evans for 10 yards late in the opening quarter for the Cardinals' first score.
CUA, which converted 8 of 17 third downs, was 0-for-3 on fourth down. It twice lost the ball on downs inside the Quaker 5.
Senior linebacker Jake Sorg led Guilford with 11 tackles (eight solo), a pass break-up and an interception. Senior defensive tackle Matt Steiner, senior cornerback Lonnie Meadows and junior linebacker Ryan Welsh paced the Cardinals with 11 tackles apiece.
CUA will finish its first season under Rob Ambrose next week at Bridgewater (Va.) at 1 p.m. The Quakers host Emory & Henry in Greensboro at 1 p.m.
- Courtesy of Catholic Sports Information