College Football Final – Averett 30, Guilford 27

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Visiting Averett University cashed three Guilford College fumbles into touchdowns and survived a game-tying field-goal attempt with 5.3 seconds left in Saturday’s 30-27 football win.

The Cougars (1-2) scored 24 straight points over the middle two quarters, which turned a 14-7 deficit into a 30-14 lead with 6:57 left in the third. Averett’s defense set up two of the touchdowns by recovering Guilford fumbles deep in Quaker territory.

The Quakers (1-2) recovered a fumble of their own late in the third quarter and converted it into a touchdown with 10:04 left in regulation, which drew the hosts to within 30-27. Another fumble gave Guilford possession on the Cougars’ 29 and the hosts drove to the one-yard line before Averett’s defense stopped quarterback Matt Pawlowski on a fourth-down sneak at the goal line.

Guilford’s defense forced Averett to punt three plays later and the Quakers’ offense was at the Cougars’ 25-yard line with 2:20 left. The drive stalled at Averett’s five, setting up a 22-yard field goal attempt by Tyler Hunt with 5.3 seconds left that hooked to the left.

Guilford outgained the Cougars, 388-242, and ran 26 more offensive plays, but struggled to hold the ball on a rainy Homecoming evening. The Quakers had 10 of the game’s 14 fumbles, three of which were recovered by the Cougars.

Ray Brown carried 26 times for 81 yards and a touchdown for Averett and teammate Xavier Morgan added 73 rushing yards on 14 carries. Receiver Dante’ Pinkston opened a 30-14 lead when he scored on a 21-yard run one play after Chris Norwood recovered the Quakers’ second fumble off an errant punt snap. Averett’s Dontae Gilbert opened the scoring when he recovered a high snap in the end zone 2:17 into the game. Donald Redding’s nine tackles (8 solo) paced a defensive effort that held Guilford scoreless on three of its five trips inside Averett’s 20.

Guilford sophomore Josh Schow tied the school record with 41 carries for a career-high 191 yards and two touchdowns. He scored on runs of three and 11 yards. His 41 carries match Jeff Hatch’s standard set in 1996 and his 191 yards rank seventh in school history. Pawlowski passed for 223 yards and threw touchdowns to Josh Williams and Nick Mearite.

Guilford has a scheduled bye week next Saturday before opening Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play at defending league champion Washington and Lee University Oct. 5.

   Score by Quarters   1   2   3   4  Score
   -----------------  --  --  --  --  -----
   Averett........... 14  10   6   0 - 30
   Guilfor........... 14   0   6   7 - 27