GREENSBORO, N.C. – Junior De’Eric Bell (Jackson, Ga./Jackson) rushed for 295 yards and four touchdowns, both school records, in Guilford College’s 47-32 football victory over visiting Methodist University Saturday night. Bell’s performance helped the Quakers (2-0) rush for a school-record 416 yards in the contest.
Bell scored one touchdown in each quarter, including a 91-yard, third-quarter sprint in which he dragged tacklers with him into the end zone. The jaunt narrowly missed the school-record run of 93 yards set by Guilford Athletics Hall of Famer John Meroney ’61 in 1959.
Bell nearly had another touchdown, but fumbled on the goal line early in the fourth quarter. Methodist’s Dayton Koontz recovered the loose ball and returned it 100 yards for a score. The Monarchs’ snap on the ensuing point-after kick sailed to near midfield where the Quakers’ Karl Roberts came up with it and returned it for a rare two-point defensive point-after. The wild sequence of plays made it a 40-12 Guilford lead with 12:50 remaining in the contest.
The Quakers rode Bell’s running and Karsten Miller’s passing in the first half to open a 24-0 advantage. Bell had a career-high 190 rushing yards and two touchdowns by halftime. He posted the game’s first touchdown with a 69-yard, first-quarter run and added a four-yard score midway through the second quarter. Miller’s one-yard keeper on fourth-and-goal with eight seconds left before halftime completed the first-half scoring.
Methodist scored the first points against Guilford’s defense midway through the third quarter on the first of E’Montie Dears’ two touchdown runs. The Quakers answered later in the quarter on a 28-yard scoring pass from Miller to Hez McKinnon. Methodist drove to Guilford’s five-yard line on the ensuing possession, but the Quakers’ Gibson Ziah and Karl Roberts stopped Monarchs’ quarterback Xavier Adams on fourth and goal, which set up Bell’s 91-yard run on the next play.
The Monarchs kept the fourth-quarter interesting by scoring three touchdowns in the final 8:01, including Adams’ six-yard touchdown pass to Demarco Smith on the game’s final play.
Bell’s 295 yards rank fifth in Old Dominion Athletic Conference history and shattered Guilford’s previous mark of 265 yards set by David Heggie ’98 in 1998. Bell’s four scores match the school standard set by Bob Jamieson ’32 against East Carolina University in 1932. Bell moved into fifth place among Guilford’s career rushing leaders (1,836) and second in career rushing scores (19) in his 22nd college contest.
Guilford’s Miller completed 17-of-25 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown. He also ran 19 times for 68 yards and a score. Hunter Hoots had a game-high 12 tackles and Ziah added 10 stops.
Guilford’s 416 rushing yards broke the previous record of 389 yards set against Greensboro College in 2000. The Quakers, who rushed for 334 yards in their season-opening win over Greensboro September 3, have posted the first- and fourth-highest single-game rushing totals in school history in their first two games of 2016.
Adams led the Monarchs’ offense with 116 rushing yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. He also completed 15-of-29 passes for 143 yards and a score. Windell Palmer made 11 tackles and Mark Stanford added 10. Stanford had a hand in 1.5 of Methodist’s 6.5 sacks.
The Quakers visit Averett University Saturday (9/17) at 6:00 p.m.
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