Greensboro, NC -- Junior Brandon Lockhart (Roxboro, NC/Person) and sophomore Marcus Ballard (Burgaw, NC/Pender) each rushed for over 100 yards to lead Guilford past Methodist, 28-6, in the Quakers' home opener Saturday. Guilford's defense forced five turnovers and set a school record by allowing just 15 rushing yards. Guilford's 330 rushing yards marked the fourth-highest total in school history.
Guilford (1-1) broke open a sluggish 6-0 game in the third quarter behind the heroics of Chris McKinney (Apex, NC/Apex). The junior receiver who returned to Guilford in August after playing the last 18 months at North Carolina State returned the opening second-half kickoff 25 yards to start a 10-play, 66-yard scoring drive that ended with junior quarterback Oren Robinson's (Anderson, SC/Westside) one-yard scoring plunge. McKinney made three of his game-high seven catches for 74 yards, including two on third down plays, in the drive. Robinson ran in for the two-point conversion and a 14-0 Quakers' lead.
Guilford's defense held Methodist (0-1) to three plays on the next possession and forced the Monarchs to punt. The Quakers were penalized five yards for running into the kicker on senior Kenod Powe's (Wadesboro, NC/Anson) first attempt, so Powe kicked again and McKinney returned it 80 yards down the sideline for Guilford's first punt return for a touchdown since Shane Handy '92 scored against Randolph-Macon November 11, 1991.
The teams traded possessions before Guilford redshirt-freshman quarterback Josh Smith (Goldsboro, NC/Rosewood) directed a 10-play, 63-yard scoring drive late in the third quarter. Lockhart (18 carries, 116 yards) and his twin brother, Calvin (10 carries, career-high 77 yards), took turns carrying the ball before Ballard (15 carries, 106 yards) ripped off a 20-yard gain to the Monarchs' two-yard line on fourth down. Smith carried the ball in from one yard out two plays later for his first college score and a 28-0 Quakers' advantage.
Methodist broke through Guilford's defense in the fourth quarter on a 74-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback Dustin Daniels (Beaufort, NC/East Carteret) (17-39, 226 yards) to sophomore Antonio Wilkerson (Ocala, FL/Vanguard) (7 receptions, 123 yards). The Monarchs moved downfield on their next possession before Guilford sophomore O.J. Batts (Wallace, NC/Rose Hill) picked off a Daniels pass on the Guilford 16-yard line. Methodist recorded 158 of their 239 total offensive yards and seven of their 10 first downs in the final period.
Guilford (1-1), which snapped a six-game losing skid dating back to last season, took a 6-0 halftime lead on Ballard's spectacular 29-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter. Ballard danced around and bounced off multiple defenders to reach the end zone for the Quakers' first score of the season.
Senior linebacker Jake Sorg (Andover, NC/Lenape Valley Regional) made a team-high eight tackles and broke up two passes for Guilford. Sophomore linebacker Travis Newkirk (Wallace, NC/Rose Hill) made six stops, including one of the Quakers' four sacks. Junior J.J. Edwards (Mims, FL/Astronaut) had two interceptions in his second college game at safety. Methodist senior C.C. Dunn (Wilson, NC/C.B. Aycock) led all tacklers with 12.
Guilford, which leads the all-time series with Methodist, 9-4, opens its Old Dominion Athletic Conference schedule next Saturday (9/15) at Washington and Lee. Methodist visits Salisbury State (9/15) next Saturday.