ASHLAND, VA (11/02/02) - Randolph-Macon College junior running back E.J. Bush (Newport News, VA/Denbigh) carried the ball 28 times for a career-high 146 net rushing yards, and added three receiving yards and 16 yards on returns for a total of 165 all-purpose yards, to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 21-14 win in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football action on Saturday, November 2. Also for Randolph-Macon, senior quarterback Hunter Price (Charlottesville, VA/Albemarle) completed 17-of-28 passes (60.7%) for 160 yards and one touchdown, and became the ODAC's career pass completions record-holder. He also scored two rushing touchdowns.
With their third straight victory, the Yellow Jackets are 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference, and with two games remaining are assured a final season winning record for the first time since 1998. The Quakers drop to 3-5 on the season and 0-4 in the ODAC.
Bush is the first Randolph-Macon player to accumulate over 100 yards rushing in a game since November 11, 2000, when then-sophomore Price carried the ball 17 times for a career-high 162 yards and Clint Sullivan picked up a career-high 103 yards on 23 attempts in his final collegiate game, a 26-17 season-ending win at archrival Hampden-Sydney.
For his career, Price has now completed 529-of-964 passes (54.9%) for 6,069 yards. Last week against Johns Hopkins, he surpassed the ODAC's career pass attempts record. He now needs 297 passing yards to become the conference record-holder in that career category. That mark is still held by Derek McGee, who played at Catholic University (1999-2001) and also held the previous passing completions and attempts records.
Randolph-Macon got on the board first against the Quakers on Saturday, as Price completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Marshall Haggard (Hampton, VA/Kecoughtan) late in the first quarter. A one-yard touchdown run by Price with 10:00 remaining in the second gave the Yellow Jackets a 14-0 lead at halftime.
The Quakers earned their first points midway through the third quarter, as junior running back Marcus Ballard (Burgaw, NC/Pender) caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from redshirt-freshman quarterback Clint Duckworth (Morganton, NC/Freedom). Randolph-Macon answered, however, as Price scored on another one-yard run late in the third. The Yellow Jackets were ahead 21-7 going into the fourth quarter.
Early in the final quarter, Guilford's Duckworth hooked up with senior receiver Chris McKinney (Greensboro, NC/Apex) for a 47-yard touchdown pass, and the margin was reduced to 21-14.
The rest of the game was a defensive battle, however. Randolph-Macon had two interceptions, one by sophomore safety Chris Headrick (Prince George, VA/Prince George) and the other by senior safety Bobby Akers (Fairfax, VA/Chantilly), and Guilford had one, by junior cornerback O.J. Batts (Wallace, NC/Rose Hill). Guilford got the ball back with 1:01 remaining, but pass break-ups by Randolph-Macon's Akers and freshman defensive back Jonathan Farmer (Poquoson, VA/Poquoson) helped the Yellow Jackets to hold off the late-game comeback attempt by the Quakers.
Following the performances by Bush and Price, Randolph-Macon's Haggard caught seven passes for 69 yards and one touchdown. Freshman receiver Clay Muench (Florence, SC/Byrnes School) had four receptions for 59 yards.
The Yellow Jackets were led defensively by Headrick and sophomore cornerback Michael Bryant (Fort Washington, MD/DeMatha [D.C.]), with six tackles each. Headrick also had one interception, a blocked punt, and one sack for six yards. Bryant had one pass break-up. Akers finished with five tackles, one interception which he returned 12 yards, and two pass break-ups. Junior defensive end Tiko Williams (Washington, D.C./Gonzaga Prep.) had five tackles, including three for a total loss of 12 yards, one sack for three yards, and one pass break-up.
Also for the Randolph-Macon defense, sophomore linebacker Joe Dacus (Searcy, AR/Searcy) and sophomore defensive tackle Caleb Strepka (Mechanicsville, VA/Atlee) each had five tackles. Dacus added one sack for eight yards. Senior cornerback Bobby Opsut (Alexandria, VA/Bishop Ireton) had one interception in the third quarter which he returned 10 yards, plus one pass break-up.
Offensively for Guilford, Duckworth finished completing 16-of-37 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns, all career highs. His 269 passing yards are the most by a Guilford player since David Hessler passed for 367 yards at Davidson on October 2, 1999. Combined with the 21 yards by redshirt-sophomore Josh Smith (Goldsboro, NC/Rosewood), Guilford's 290 passing yards are the most since November 4, 2000, at Catholic (326).
Also for the Quakers offensively, Ballard had six receptions for 118 yards, both career highs, and scored one touchdown. He also had 24 net rushing yards for 142 all-purpose yards. McKinney also caught six passes, for 107 yards and one touchdown, and added 34 yards on returns for 141 all-purpose yards. It was the second time this season that he surpassed the 100-yard receiving plateau.
Defensively for Guilford, junior linebacker Wes Kidd (Southport, NC/South Brunswick) had 11 tackles. Batts and junior linebacker Travis Newkirk (Wallace, NC/Rose Hill) each had eight tackles. Batts also had one interception, while Newkirk had one pass break-up.
- Ann Schlottman, R-MC Sports Information