WASHINGTON, D.C.(11/7/09) – Guilford College's Jordan Nelson set a school record with four interceptions and the Quakers' defense forced nine turnovers in a 42-21 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) victory at Catholic University Saturday afternoon. Nelson's four interceptions tied the ODAC record for thefts in a game.
The defensive effort helped Guilford (3-6, 2-3 ODAC) rally from a 21-10 second-quarter deficit for its second win in as many weeks. The Cardinals dropped to 1-8 (0-5 ODAC) with the loss.
Catholic jumped out to the early lead behind the play of quarterback Dylan Knight, who rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown on nine first-half carries. He also completed eight-of-15 passes for 64 yards and a score, but left the game in the second quarter with an injury and never returned. Knight's departure sapped the Cardinals' offensive momentum and Guilford's defense took over.
On Catholic's first series after Knight's injury, Chris Jessup sacked backup quarterback Chris Gazda and forced a fumble, which Guilford's Markas Brunson recovered on the Cardinals' 13-yard line. Three plays later, Guilford's Billy Watkins threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams to make it a 21-17 game. The Quakers' Brad Scott kicked a 30-yard field goal with one second left in the half to trim Catholic's lead to 21-20 at halftime.
Watkins connected with Justin Parker from five yards out, capping an 11-play, 61-yard drive that started the third quarter. The Cardinals picked off the two-point conversion pass, but Guilford had its first lead of the game at 26-21.
After the Quakers forced a punt on Catholic's first second-half possession, the next five Cardinals' possessions ended with turnovers, including three of Nelson's interceptions. Guilford's offense converted two of the miscues into fourth-quarter touchdown runs by Williams and Earl Womble. Catholic managed 87 total offensive yards in the second half.
Williams finished with 94 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. He also caught six passes for 49 yards and a score. Watkins completed 27-of-44 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran 18 times for 45 yards and a touchdown. Parker made a game-high nine grabs for 78 yards and a score. Linebacker Richie Paul paced the Quakers' tacklers with 13 stops. Teammate David LaPlaca added a career-high two interceptions for Guilford.
Rich Barry had 15 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown for Catholic. Avatus Stone made a game-high 17 tackles and broke up a pass for the Cardinals.
The Quakers close the 2009 season next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. against visiting Emory & Henry College in Guilford's Armfield Athletic Center.