ROCKY MOUNT, NC — The Greensboro College Pride football team snapped a three game losing streak when they defeated the Battling Bishops of NC Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon of 44-42. With the win, The Pride picked up their first conference win of the season, but also defeated Wesleyan for the first time in school history.
In the first quarter of play, The Pride got on the board with a 27 yard field goal by Luis Rico that put The Pride up 3-0. Greensboro had punted the ball to the Bishops, but the Wesleyan deep man was unable to maintain control of the ball that was picked up by Terry Charles for The Pride on the Bishops 21 yard line setting up the first points of the game.
On the following drive for Wesleyan, the Greensboro defense showed their strength forcing a three and out after Julian Cinotti picked up his first sack of the contest. On the fourth down punt attempt, Kyle Smith got to the Bishops punter for his second blocked punt in as many games that was picked up by Joseph Lewis once again for a one yard touchdown to give Greensboro a 10-0 lead just seven minutes into the first quarter of play.
After the Greensboro blocked punt for a touchdown, Wesleyan would take control of the ball again. Wesleyan was able to construct an eight play 78 yard drive to bring the score to 10-7 at the end of the first quarter of play.
In the beginning of the second quarter, Wesleyan continued to drive the ball down the field, and finish off the drive that started at the end of the first quarter when Jacques Alston found the end zone to give the Bishops the lead for the first and only time in the game at 14-10.
On the next possession for Greensboro, The Pride took nine plays to go 54 yards to go back in the lead at 17-10. On the scoring drive, quarterback Ryan Throndset connected with his big target Dexter Russell for a 11 yard strike. Once the Greensboro defense got back on the field after ensuing kickoff, they would force the Bishops to go three and out again. Once again, on the fourth down punt attempt, Kyle Smith got his hands on the ball from the foot of the Wesleyan punter for his second block of the day, giving Greensboro outstanding field position at the Wesleyan 12 yard line. It only took Greensboro one play to find the end zone as Throndset connected with Russell for the second time of the day giving The Pride the lead at 24-14. But the Bishops responded back with a 77 yard touchdown run bringing the Greensboro lead to 24-21.
For Greensboro, on their last drive of the half was able to get the offense moving again. The Pride got the ball on the Wesleyan 38 yard line after a 17 yard Bishops punt. On the drive, Throndset went 2-3 for 26 yards before Cortez Vernon capped off the drive with a five yard touchdown dive giving Greensboro the nine point halftime lead at 30-21.
To start the second half, neither team was able to put points on the board of their first possessions of the half. Wesleyan got the second half scoring started midway through the third quarter when Robbie Lanier rushed for a one yard touchdown finishing off a 61 yard drive bringing the score to 30-28. But once again for Greensboro, they were able to rebound and strike right back again. Throndset connected with Russell for the third time on the day moving The Pride lead back to nine at 37-28.
To start the fourth quarter of play, the Wesleyan offense struck back when Robbie Lanier threw his second touchdown of the day bringing the score to 37-35. For Greensboro, the offense did its thing as Joseph Lewis found the end zone with a 26 yard run for The Pride’s final points on the day making the score 44-35. The Bishops put more points on the board just four minutes later to bring the score within two at 44-42.
The Pride got the ball back following the touchdown with just over four minutes remaining , and was able to convert on two long third downs to keep the clock running and ran out the time for the 44-42 victory.
The Pride offense was led in the game by Ryan Throndset who passed for 274 yards including three touchdowns. Dexter Russell brought in 13 catches for 126 and three touchdowns, while Cortez Vernon led the way on the ground gaining 102 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown.
On defense for The Pride, Julian Cinotti led the way with 10 total tackles, including two sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. Desmond Beasley added 7 tackles, while Kyle Smith added five tackles and two blocked punts on the day.
Following the game, Coach Young had this to say, “I am extremely happy for our guys, they have fought so hard the past week and we were able to come out and get a a win against Wesleyan for the first time in school history. Our offense stepped up big in the final possession of the game with keeping the drive alive to seal the win.”
With the win, The Pride move to 2-5 on the season, and 1-3 in USA South play. The Pride will return back home next week, as they welcome the Captains of Christopher Newport for homecoming 2013. Kickoff for the homecoming game is set for 7:00 pm.