College Football Final – Averett 31, Guilford 24

Danville, Va. (9/20/2008) – Junior Dontavious Watson (Tampa, Fla./Brandon) ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in Averett University’s 31-24 nonconference football win over visiting Guilford College Saturday.

Junior Anthony Squillini (Clayton, N.C./Clayton) caught two touchdown passes for the Cougars (1-1), who ended an 11-game losing streak that dated to 2006. The victory extended Averett’s lead in the season series with Guilford (2-1) to 4-1 and stopped the Quakers’ four-game winning streak that dated to 2007.

Watson and Squillini scored on successive third-quarter possessions, which opened a 31-10 lead for the home team. Sophomore Marcus Klusacek (Fort Myers, Fla./Estero) capped the third quarter’s opening drive with a 38-yard field goal that opened a 17-10 Averett lead. The Cougars’ doubled the lead on its next series when Watson scored on a 13-yard scamper. Averett lost starting quarterback Philip Kwiatkowski (Coral Springs, Fla./J.P. Taravella) on the drive, but senior Shan Fairbanks (Groveland, Fla./South Lakes) entered the game and completed a third-down pass on his first play to keep the drive alive. Fairbanks later hooked up with Squillini on a well-thrown fade pass in the end zone on third-and-goal from the Quakers’ nine-yard line.

Guilford mounted a fourth-quarter comeback, but two late interceptions snuffed the rally. Redshirt-sophomore Justin Parker (Greensboro, N.C./Southern Guilford) scored on his second one-yard run of the game early in the fourth quarter to make it a 31-17 Averett lead. Defensive lineman Justin Anaya (Gibsonton, Fla./East Bay) grabbed a deflected Vogelbach pass out of the air near midfield with 6:47 left in the game. After Vogelbach connected with Hagen Miller (State Road, N.C./Elkin (Mars Hill)) for a 20-yard scoring pass with 1:44 left, senior John Garcia (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Everglades) stepped in front of a Vogelbach pass near midfield with 16 seconds remaining, insuring Averett’s win.

Fairbanks completed seven-of-10 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown in just over a quarter of work. Sophomore Mark Williams (Gainesville, Fla./P.K. Younge) had four carries for 76 rushing yards as the Cougars rushed for 197 yards as a team. Sophomore Logan Smith (Danville, Va./Chatham) made a team-high 11 tackles and recorded a first-quarter interception that set up the Cougars’ first score of the day, a 12-yard pass from Kwiatkowski to Squillini.

Parker paced Guilford’s offense with a game- and career-high 137 rushing yards and two scores. Vogelbach completed 29-of-52 passes for 327 yards and a touchdown. Miller finished with nine receptions for 56 yards and a score. Senior Kevin Vaughn (Mt. Airy, N.C./East Surry) caught five balls for 107 yards. The Quakers’ Richie Paul (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot (Quincy)) led all tacklers with 13 stops.

Guilford returns to action Saturday (9/27) at Hampden-Sydney College in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference opener for both teams. Averett plays Washington and Lee University Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in Salem, Va., in a game to benefit Habitat for Humanity.