Greensboro, NC (09/27/03) -- Sophomore quarterback J.D. Ricca (Gaithersburg, MD/St. John's) threw for a career-high 376 yards and two touchdowns and senior Conrad Singh (Ft. Washington, MD/Gonzaga) tied a school record with 12 receptions for 188 yards as visiting Hampden-Sydney downed Guilford, 52-33, in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) opener for both teams Saturday.
The Tigers (3-0, 1-0 ODAC), winners of four straight over Guilford, are ranked 21st in this week's American Football Coaches Poll and 14th in the D3football.com poll.
The Quakers (1-2, 0-1 ODAC) stayed with Hampden-Sydney for the better part of the first half before Ricca ended the seesaw second quarter with an impressive two-minute drive capped by a 13-yard scoring pass to Singh. The second-quarter score gave the Tigers a 31-16 lead and was the second of five touchdowns in as many possessions during the second and third quarters.
C.W. Clemmons (Covington, VA/Alleghany) scored the second of his three rushing touchdowns on a 10-yard jaunt on the Tigers' first third-quarter possession and later scored from 22 yards out. James Riley (Richmond, VA/James River) set up Clemmons' third score by recovering a Quakers' fumble on the Tigers' 22-yard line.
Hampden-Sydney lifted Ricca with the Tigers holding a 52-16 lead, but not before the sophomore picked over the Quakers' secondary. He showed great poise in his third college start, completing a personal-high 27 of 36 passes all over the field. Singh was his favorite target as the senior tied his own school standard of 12 receptions set against last year Bridgewater. Already the Tigers' career receptions leader, Singh set the school record for career receiving yards (2,317) and moved to within 58 grabs of the ODAC's career record. Junior wideouts Nick Ferrante (Bryantown, MD/Gonzaga) (6 rec., 89 yards, 1 TD) and Tripp Murchison (Richmond, VA/J.R. Tucker) (5 rec., 115 yards) had career highs for receiving yardage. Clemmons finished with 119 rushing yards on 15 carries. Hampden-Sydney's Johnny Junes (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) carried 13 times for 63 yards and two touchdowns.
Thanks to a pair of late fourth-quarter touchdowns, Guilford posted its highest point total in 11 games and its most against Hampden-Sydney since a 34-7 triumph over the Tigers in 1997. Redshirt-freshman quarterback Chris Gammon (Graham, NC/Graham) scored on a one-yard sneak for his first college touchdown in the fourth quarter and threw a 28-yard scoring pass to junior Chris Dunn (Star, NC/East Montgomery) with 1:34 left in the game. Gammon completed five of 13 passes for 77 yards. Senior Josh Smith (Goldsboro, NC/Rosewood) started the game under center and was seven-for-12 for 83 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Clint Duckworth (Morganton, NC/Freedom) in the second quarter.
Hampden-Sydney returns home to host Bridgewater next Saturday in a meeting that could determine the ODAC champion. The Eagles were ranked among the top 10 teams in both Division III national polls before today's 16-12 loss at Christopher Newport. Bridgewater also received the top spot in the ODAC preseason coaches poll, just ahead of Hampden-Sydney. Guilford visits crosstown rival Greensboro next Saturday night (10/4) at 7:00 p.m. at Grimsley High School's Jamieson Stadium in the seventh annual Gate City Soup Bowl contest.