College Football Final – Guilford 42, Catholic 21

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Junior quarterback Matt Pawlowski (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) threw five touchdowns, three to classmate Adam Smith (Mocksville, N.C./Davie), in Guilford College’s 42-21 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football victory over Catholic University Saturday. Guilford scored touchdowns on all four second-half possessions and on six of its final seven drives to erase a 14-0 first-quarter deficit.

The homecoming win capped Guilford’s first unbeaten season at home since 2006 and raised its overall record to 7-1 (4-1 ODAC) for the first time since 1994. Catholic drops to 2-6 (0-5 ODAC) with its fifth straight setback.

Pawlowski connected twice with Smith in the second quarter, which tied the game at 14-14 at halftime. The Cardinals scored on the third-quarter’s opening drive, which built a 21-14 lead, but Guilford answered with a six-play, 77-yard drive that ended when running back Josh Schow (Herndon, Va./Herndon) scored after catching a screen pass and darting 25 yards through the Cardinals’ defense.

A Karl Roberts (Charlotte, N.C./North Mecklenburg) interception on Catholic’s ensuing possession set up the go-ahead score, an eight-yard touchdown run by Schow. The junior’s team-high eighth rushing score of the year gave Guilford a 28-21 edge with 1:51 left in the third quarter.

Catholic drove to the Quakers’ 26-yard line on its next possession, but quarterback T.J. Tutone’s fourth-down run to Guilford’s two-yard line was wiped out by a holding penalty and the Cardinals punted for the first time. Prior to the third-quarter kick, Catholic had converted six-of-seven fourth-down plays.

Two plays later, Pawlowski hit Smith in stride over the middle and the junior ran in for a 78-yard touchdown, his third of the game and the Quakers’ longest scoring play of the season.

Pawlowski’s final touchdown pass of the day, a nine-yard toss to Austen Thompson, capped the scoring. Pawlowski, who entered the game ranked third among NCAA Division III touchdown passes leaders, threw for five scores in a game for the third time this season and the fourth time in his career. He has 30 touchdown passes this year, the third-highest total in school history.

Smith made six receptions for 204 yards and three scores, the junior’s second career game with at least 200 receiving yards and his third with three touchdown catches. He averaged 34 yards per catch and now has 14 scoring receptions this season, fourth-best in school history.

Schow finished with a game-best 88 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries and added 40 receiving yards and a score on two catches.

Hunter Hoots (Midway, N.C./North Davidson) led the Quakers’ defense with a game-high 14 tackles, including a sack. Daytwyn Rascoe (Pikesville, Md./McDonough) brought down a season-best 12 ball carriers and Roberts finished with 11 stops, a career high. JerMario Gooch (Raleigh, N.C./Knightdale) secured his team-leading sixth interception of the season, the most since Jordan Nelson’s school-record-tying eight picks in 2009.

Tutone completed 23-of-33 passes for 251 yards and a score. Tim Murphy was the favorite target among 10 Cardinal pass catchers with six catches for 56 yards and a score. Matt Perno paced Catholic with 53 rushing yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Evan Calvo carried 14 times for 45 yards. Anthony Santo’s eight tackles led the defense.

Guilford heads to nationally ranked Hampden-Sydney College next Saturday (11/8) for a 1:00 p.m. contest. Both teams are tied with Emory & Henry College atop the ODAC standings after Bridgewater College dealt Hampden-Sydney its first league loss Saturday.