College Football Final – Hampden-Sydney 38, Guilford 35

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va. – Sophomore Rhett Andersen’s career-long 46-yard field goal as time expired lifted Hampden-Sydney College to a 38-35 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football win over visiting Guilford College Saturday at Everett Stadium.

The winning kick capped a nine-play, 64-yard scoring drive that started on the Tigers’ seven-yard line. A 17-yard, third-down completion from Alec Cobb (Jamestown, N.C./Ragsdale) to Major Morgan down to the Quakers’ 29 with 14 seconds left in regulation kept the drive alive. Hampden-Sydney spiked the ball to stop the clock and set up Andersen’s winning kick.

Nearly 8,800 fans watch an entertaining conference contest that saw the visiting Quakers (2-4, 1-3 ODAC) take a 27-22 halftime lead on sophomore Ammar Algburi’s 23-yard field goal on the second quarter’s final play. Algburi kicked two short field goals in the quarter and Guilford quarterback Alex Manley (Pfafftown, N.C./West Stokes (Emory & Henry)) threw touchdowns to Jordan Smith (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) and Juwan Houston to help offset two of Cobb’s three touchdown passes to Dillon Costello.

Cobb, who entered the game as the NCAA Division III passing yards per game leader, tossed two third-quarter touchdowns to put Hampden-Sydney in front for the first time. His five-yard strike to the 6-5 Morgan midway through the frame capped a 14-play, 75-yard drive kept alive by a roughing the kicker penalty on the Quakers, which negated Andersen’s successful 33-yard field goal. The penalty gave the Tigers a first-and-goal situation from Guilford’s eight yard-line. Cobb connected with Costello from 51 yards out with 27 seconds left in the third, which gave the hosts a 35-27 edge entering the final quarter.

The Quakers dodged a bullet when Andersen pushed a 38-yard field-goal attempt wide left midway through the fourth quarter. Guilford took over and moved 79 yards in 10 plays to score on a Manley’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Montek Johnson (Hamlet, N.C./Richmond Senior) on fourth-and-nine. De’Eric Bell rushed for the two-point conversion, which tied the game at 35-35 with 2:43 remaining in regulation.

Guilford squandered an opportunity to go ahead on Hampden-Sydney’s ensuing possession as sophomore linebacker Gerard Seals (Charlotte, N.C./Berry Academy) picked off Cobb at the Tigers’ 24-yard line. The Quakers failed to capitalize as a penalty, rush for loss, and a sack in succession led to a fourth-down punt and set up Hampden-Sydney’s winning drive.

Cobb completed 29-of-40 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Kaleb Smith was his favorite target with 12 catches for 118 yards. He also ran 30 times for 214 yards and a touchdown. Costello finished with seven receptions for 118 yards and three scores. Morgan made six grabs for 79 yards and a touchdown. Brendan Weinberg (Apex, N.C./Middle Creek) and Griffin Davis both made nine tackles and one sack for Hampden-Sydney’s defense. Brian Gwaltney added eight stops and an interception.

Guilford’s Bell carried 28 times for 134 yards but did not score a touchdown for the first time this season. He collected 185 all-purpose yards and moved into ninth place among NCAA Division III’s career leaders (7,654). Manley completed 17-of-32 passes for 219 yards and matched his career high with three scores. Johnson caught one of the touchdowns among his four catches for 60 yards. He also scored off a 17-yard blocked punt return in the first quarter. Houston had a team-best six receptions for 60 yards. Jeremiah Hedrick (Sedalia, N.C./Southern Guilford) paced the Quakers’ defense with 11 tackles. Trevon Simmons made 10 stops and Seals (5 tackles) added one of the Quakers’ five sacks to his first college interception.

Coach Chris Rusiewicz’s Quakers return home to host league-rival Washington and Lee University Saturday (10/27) at 1:00 p.m. in Guilford’s annual Senior Day game.