Danville, VA -- The Averett University Cougars defeated Guilford College by a 25-20 final Saturday at the Cougar Den. The win puts Averett's record at 3-0 for the first time in school history.
Averett looked strong right from the start when linebacker Kelvin Hutcheson intercepted a Chris Gammon pass on the first play from scrimmage and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. Kicker James Thurnes put the extra point through to raise the Cougars to a quick 7-0 lead.
Guilford answered the early Cougar score right away, taking their next drive 67 yards and capping it with a one-yard run from Micah Rushing. The point-after by Travis Frazier tied the game at 7-7.
The Cougars struck next, when quarterback Scott Swann hit Jeff Hughley for a three-yard touchdown, capping a 9-play drive of 50 yards. After the touchdown, Thurnes missed the extra-point to put the score at 13-7.
The Quakers answered again with a 76-yard drive later in the second quarter. Chris Barnette punched in a one-yard touchdown run and Frazier hit the extra-point, giving Guilford their first lead at 14-13.
The always-potent Averett defense helped the Cougars' cause again when Griffin McConaghy forced and recovered a fumble at Guilford's own 13-yardline midway through the second quarter. The offense had no problems putting the ball in the end zone, as Kyle Wilson took it 13 yards on second down for the score. Swann attempted the two-point conversion, but had his pass picked off by Josh Smith, leaving the score at 19-14. That score held up until the intermission.
A defensive struggle ensued in the second half, until the Cougars got close enough to allow Thurnes to kick a 32-yard field goal with 5:04 left in the third quarter. Then again, to begin the fourth quarter, Thurnes put another through the uprights from 22 yards, lifting the Averett cushion to 25-14.
Guilford attempted to mount a comeback, as Desmond Jordan scored a 5-yard touchdown run with 5:50 left in the game. With little time left, Guilford was forced to go for the two-point conversion, and Gammon missed his target, leaving the score at it's final, 25-20.
Swann threw for 143 yards on 13-of-32 passing for the Cougars. Hughley caught six passes for 81 yards, including a touchdown. Additionally, Hughley set the career receiving record with 702 yards, in only the sophomore's 12th collegiate game. Kyle Wilson led the rushing category for the Cougars with 97 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Defensively Anthony Morris had 11 tackles, while Hutcheson added nine. Hutcheson also tallied three tackles for loss, including two sacks and the interception return for a touchdown. McConaghy also had a productive day as a defender with five tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery.
The Quakers were led by Jordan, who had a career- and game-high 129 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. Kyle Becher led the way defensively for Guilford with nine tackles in the contest.
Guilford visits 15th-ranked Hampden-Sydney next Saturday in its Old Dominion Athletic Conference opener.