By Carey Phillips
Western Carolina scored on the game’s first scrimmage play Saturday, but it was all down hill after that as Wofford crushed the Catamounts (1-6, 0-4) 59-7 in Southern Conference football action.
A crowd of 5,733 at Gibbs Stadium saw the Terriers compile 613 yards of total offense and hold WCU to 172. Wofford had 428 yards on the ground. Irvin Mulligan (nine carries, 106 yards), Jacquez Allen (four carries, 105 yards) and Joe Newman (10 carries, 104 yards) all eclipsed the century mark.
Newman completed seven of 11 passes for 162 yards. D’mauriae VanCleave had four catches for 112 yards.
Western ran a flea flicker on the game’s first play, and Tyrie Adams completed a 69-yard touchdown pass to Jaylin Young. Julian Pletz kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead 19 seconds into the game.
That would be Adams’ only pass completion as he left with an injured foot on the next possession.
He was replaced by Will Jones, who completed nine of 16 passes for just 39 yards.
Caleb Ferguson was the Cats’ leading rusher with 30 yards in six carries.
Wofford tied the game on its second possession by driving 83 yards in eight plays. Mulligan ran for 41 yards on the first play, and Allen gained 15. Blake Morgan’s 4-yard TD run and the first of Luke Carter’s eight extra points tied it 7-7 with 5:46 left in the first quarter.
VanCleave’s 87-yard punt return gave the Terriers a 14-7 lead with 13:01 remaining in the half.
On the first play after a punt, Newman completed a 67-yard pass to VanCleave to the 3. Newman scored on the next play for a 21-7 advantage at the 10:29 mark.
Wofford forced another punt and marched 65 yards in six plays, including a 41-yard run by Newman. He scored on a 12-yard run upping the margin to 28-7 with 5:26 on the clock.
A shanked punt by Ferguson gave the Terriers the ball at the WCU 41. Newman’s 29-yard pass to Landon Parker started a seven-play drive that ended with Newman’s 7-yard pass to KeiAndre Sanders for a 35-7 lead with four seconds on the clock.
Runs of 16 and 24 yards by Newman to start the second half put Wofford in position for Carter’s 37-yard field goal that was wide right.
The Terriers continued to pull away with three touchdowns and a field goal on their next four possessions.
Newman’s 39-yard pass to VanCleave capped a 63-yard drive in five plays making it 42-7 with 5:04 remaining in the third period.
Two plays after a punt, Allen broke loose on a 78-yard run extending the lead to 49-7 with 3:10 to go in the third stanza.
Miller Mosley’s 46 yard TD run gave Wofford a 56-7 lead with 14:11 to play in the game. It ended a 77-yard four-play drive, including a 23-yard pass from Mosley to Evan Suggs.
Carter’s 43-yard field goal concluded the scoring with 6:57 on the clock. It was set up by Mulligan’s 19-yard run.
Ty Harris led Western’s defense with eight tackles.
Ryan Titus topped the Terriers with seven.