College Football Final – Guilford 59, Catholic 0

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College raced to a 35-0 first-quarter lead in a dominant 59-0 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) victory over visiting Catholic University of America in both teams’ league opener.

The Quakers (4-0, 1-0 ODAC) forced five turnovers and held the previously unbeaten Cardinals (3-1, 0-1 ODAC) to 71 total offensive yards, including a school-record -15 rushing yards on 34 attempts, a Guilford school record. The Quakers registered seven sacks, one shy of the school standard.

Junior quarterback Karsten Miller completed 13-of-16 passing attempts for 181 yards and a career-high five touchdowns, three in the opening quarter. His 18-yard touchdown pass to Tyriek Russell capped the game’s first offensive drive and his deflected pass to Russell from 14 yards away capped the first-quarter scoring to give the hosts a 35-0 edge.

In between scoring passes to Russell, Miller threw a 16-yard strike to Daniel Woodruff, Guilford’s Hunter Causey scored on a 36-yard run and the Quakers’ Taquar Stewart returned the third of three Jorge Pola interceptions 16 yards for a touchdown. Miller gave way to backup Christian Miles midway through the second quarter.

Despite an early injury to NCAA Division III rushing leader De’Eric Bell, the Quakers’ onslaught continued into the second quarter. Catholic managed one of its nine first downs in the contest in the second quarter thanks to a Quakers’ penalty. Causey’s 15-yard touchdown run and Miller scoring passes to Bou Howard and Josh Lowery marked Guilford’s second-quarter scoring.

Despite substituting liberally in the second half, Guilford’s defense remained unyielding. Catholic compiled only 36 offensive yards and two first downs on 27 plays. Kasseem Bagley picked off Alejandro Ros for the Quakers’ fifth and final forced turnover of the game. Erick Fuentes’ career-long 42-yard field goal marked the contest’s only second-half scoring.

Guilford had 11 different ball carriers in the contest, led by Causey’s 66 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries. Russell’s six catches for 64 yards paced all receivers as 15 Quakers had receptions from one of the four quarterbacks who played. Guilford’s Hunter Hoots shared game-high tackling honors with eight stops, two behind the line. His backup, Bryce Smith, made a career-high seven tackles and reserve defensive lineman Darrious Patterson made all three of his tackles behind the line, including a sack.

Pola endured a rough opening quarter, with just three completions in 11 attempts for 34 yards with three interceptions. Ros was seven-for-19 for 52 yards and an interception. He was sacked six times. Lucas Morley, the Cardinals star receiver, was held to one catch for 18 yards in the first quarter. Luke Kern led the team with eight tackles. Patrick Vidal had two of Catholic’s three sacks among his seven stops in the contest.

Guilford visits league-rival Hampden-Sydney College next Saturday (10/8) seeking their first road win over the Tigers since 1998.