GREENSBORO, N.C. – Alex Manley's 65-yard touchdown pass to Montek Johnson broke a 21-21 tie and lifted Guilford College to a 28-27 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football win over visiting Ferrum College Friday night.
Ferrum (3-2, 1-2 ODAC) answered on its ensuing possession when junior running back Brian Mann ran 37 yards for his second touchdown of the night. Guilford's Trevon Simmons blocked the ensuing point-after kick, the Quakers' (2-3, 1-2 ODAC) second block of the game.
Clinging to a one-point cushion, Guilford took over at its own 24-yard line with four minutes and five seconds left in regulation. The Quakers successfully ran the clock out thanks to two first-down runs by redshirt-senior De'Eric Bell and a first-down gain by Manley.
Both Bell and Manley keyed the Quakers' offense and helped Guilford open a 21-7 second-quarter lead. Bell carried 28 times for 152 yards and his school-record 14th touchdown of the season. He set the tone on the game-opening drive with five carries for 52 yards, including a two-yard touchdown. Bell, ranked second among NCAA Division III all-purpose yardage leaders, added 46 return yards and finished with 207 total yards. Manley completed just nine-of-22 passes but averaged nearly 28 yards per completion for 250 yards and two scores. His 62-yard strike to sophomore Jordan Smith early in the second quarter opened a 21-7 edge.
Mann, Division III's third-leading rusher, carried 36 times for 216 yards and two second-half touchdowns. His first score, from 13 yards out, capped a five-play drive set up by a Rod Smith interception that got Ferrum to within two. Mann caught a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Zack Clifford that tied the game for the first time with 5:57 left in the third.
Both teams missed potential go-ahead field goals as they traded scoreless possessions into the fourth quarter. The Quakers failed to get their effort off the ground due to a high snap and the Panthers' 40-yard attempt missed wide left with 9:15 remaining in regulation.
Guilford took over on its own 23, was backed down to its own seven by penalties, and later punted. A roughing-the-kicker penalty extended the drive and two plays later Manley connected with Johnson, who deftly sprinted through the secondary with the go-ahead score. Ammar Algburi added the extra point. Johnson finished with three catches for 93 yards, both game highs.
The Quakers' Bryce Smith made a game-high 14 tackles and Jeremiah Hedrick added 13 stops. He also had a brilliant interception in the back of his own end zone to thwart a Ferrum scoring opportunity. Teammates J.T. Carmichael, Gerard Seals, and Simmons each made eight tackles. Carmichael and Zach Lassiter both had two of the Quakers' five sacks. Simmons also recovered and forced a fumble.
Ferrum's Roshun Patterson paced the Panthers with eight tackles. Brandon Scott broke up two passes and stopped a Quakers' drive with a fourth-down interception at his own 19. Smith also forced a fumble in addition to his interception.
Coach Chris Rusiewicz's Quakers visit league-rival Hampden-Sydney College October 20 at 1:00 p.m.