MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Guilford College senior quarterback Karsten Miller (Thomasville, N.C./North Davidson (NW Mississippi J.C.)) passed for 353 yards and four touchdowns in the Quakers’ 38-24 nonconference football win at Huntingdon College Saturday. The first gridiron meeting between the two teams marked both squads’ season opener.
Miller completed 16 passes to eight different receivers, including five to sophomore Tyriek Russell (Durham, N.C./Southern Durham), had 107 receiving yards and two scores. Russell’s 50-yard catch and run on third down provided the game’s final margin midway through the fourth quarter. His 30-yard sprint through the secondary broke a 7-7 second-quarter tie.
Huntingdon (0-1) took its only lead after successive scoring drives around halftime. Chase Young kicked a 25-yard field goal on the first half’s final play and Dontavion Cunningham capped the third-quarter’s opening drive with a 14-yard run that put Huntingdon ahead, 17-14.
Guilford (1-0) answered with an 11-play, 75-yard drive capped by De’Eric Bell’s (Jackson, Ga./Jackson) two-yard touchdown run. Harrison Kiser’s (Greensboro, N.C./Page) point after gave the lead back to Guilford, 21-17.
The Quakers’ defense mounted a terrific goal-line stand to end the third quarter and Miller hit a wide-open Montek Johnson (Hamlet, N.C./Richmond Senior) for a 97-yard touchdown pass soon thereafter. One play later, Jarrod Russ’ (Columbia, S.C./Blythewood) sack and strip resulted in Kiser’s 29-yard field goal and a two-touchdown edge with 12:50 remaining.
Huntingdon answered with Chip Taylor’s second touchdown pass of the day, a 22-yard toss to Otis Porter, but Guilford’s Miller threw his second touchdown to Russell on the next drive to effectively put the game out of reach.
The teams combined for over 1,100 total offensive yards and 49 first downs as big plays ruled the day. Guilford averaged over 22 yards per pass completion, while the Hawks averaged nearly 19 yards per pass. Hunter Causey (10 carries, 101 yards) and Bell (16 carries, 78 yards) helped Guilford roll up 208 rushing yards. Bell, who missed the last six games of 2016 with a knee injury, collected 212 all-purpose yards in his return. Huntingdon’s Vic Jerald rushed for a game-high 115 yards on 19 carries.
Guilford’s Julian Cuthbertson (Havelock, N.C./Havelock) made two tackles during the third-quarter goal-line stand and shared game-high honors with 12 stops. Russ made two sacks among his career-best seven tackles and senior cornerback C.J. Hobbs (Sanford, N.C./Western Harnett) added 12 stops in his defensive debut. Guilford’s Nathan Campbell (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) had 11 tackles, including a fourth-down stop of Taylor at the Quakers’ one, and also recovered Taylor’s fourth-quarter fumble.
Guilford, which ended a six-game losing streak, visits Methodist University next Saturday (9/9) in a nonconference game.