The Pride football team saw a 17-0 lead evaporate at North Carolina Wesleyan on Saturday, falling by a final count of 45-23. The key shift in the momentum came in the third quarter, as the Battling Bishops outscored Greensboro 39-0.
The Pride wasted little time getting to work in this one, scoring just over five minutes into the opening frame on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Throndset to Tyler Fearrington.
Greensboro extended the margin to 10-0 early in the second quarter, using a 22-yard field goal by Nick La Toof. Warren Scott Jr. added to the lead with 8:12 remaining in the half on a ten-yard scoring run.
North Carolina Wesleyan found the board for the first time on the day, as Laron Ellerbe rumbled in from five-yards out to cut the Pride lead to 17-6.
The Battling Bishops opened the third quarter with a 90-yard kick-off return to further narrow the gap to 17-14. North Carolina Wesleyan knotted the score at 17-17 at the 7:42 mark on a 26-yard Hampus Lithen field goal.
The Battling Bishops continued to use the big play to pull away in the third, converting a 70-yard pass, 90-yard run, 40-yard interception return and 59-yard pass into touchdowns.
Greensboro would tack on one final score with 11:32 left in the game with a 24-yard interception return by Julian Cinotti.
With help from the big plays, North Carolina Wesleyan outgained The Pride 506-414. Greensboro gained 291 yards through the air and 123 on the ground compared to 306 passing and 200 rushing for the Battling Bishops.
Offensively, Throndset completed 29 of 52 passing attempts for 291 yards and one touchdown. Dexter Russell Jr. was the primary receiver, catching ten passes for 89 yards. Scott Jr. led the ground attack with 97 yards on 22 carries and one score.
On defense, Travis Welch finished the game with a team high eight stops, including two tackles for loss. In addition to his interception return, Cinotti also tied for the team lead with eight tackles. He made two tackles for loss and one sack to go along with a forced fumble.
Greensboro forced six turnovers – three fumbles and three interceptions – on the day, while finishing with three interceptions on offense.
With the defeat, The Pride fall to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the USA South. Greensboro will be back at home on October 27 against Ferrum. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at Grimsley High School.