LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Presbyterian College football team and Liberty combined for 75 points on Saturday night at Williams Stadium in a high-scoring affair but the Blue Hose (3-7, 0-4 Big South) came out on the wrong end of the contest, falling to the Flames (6-4, 2-2 Big South), 47-28, in the final road game of the year for PC.
Head Coach Tommy Spangler’s Take:
“We got out of the gate poorly. They had that big kickoff return on us and the defense gave up a couple of big plays and before you know it when are having to play from behind. I thought the offense did some things at times to get some points but I think we left a few points out there too. Defensively we struggled to get stops. I am proud of the fact that we continued to compete but at the same time, as long as I am the head coach here, we are not going to be ok with losing. We have to find a way to get some things fixed. Now we go back to Clinton to get ready for Gardner-Webb and see if we can finish this thing out the right way.”
How It Happened
The opening quarter jump started the scoring with the two teams combining for 31 points in the opening 15 minutes of action. Liberty got on the board early, as an 84-yard kickoff return set up an eight-yard touchdown run by Carrington Mosley two plays later to make it 7-0. PC forced LU to settle for a field goal on its ensuing drive with Alex Probert connecting from 35 yards to push the advantage to 10-0.
The Flames added seven points on their following drive, as Stephen Calvert found Cephas Reddick for 68 yards and a touchdown. PC answered with a touchdown on its ensuing drive, going 64 yards in five plays. Will Brock connected with Cedric Frazier for 40 yards and one play later Mark Robinson scored from three yards out to cut the lead to 17-7. LU responded though, going 81 yards on nine plays with Calvert throwing his second TD pass of the game, this one a 31-yarder to B.J. Farrow.
LU found the end zone again midway through the second quarter on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Calvert to Reddick. Michael Branch would block the PAT though to keep it a 30-7 contest. Liberty then tacked on a field goal late in the first half with Probert making his second of the game, this one from 21 yards, to make it a 33-7 halftime advantage.
PC responded to start the second half, driving 75 yards on just six plays for a touchdown. The key play once again came on a Brock pass, this time to DarQuez Watson for 58 yards, before Damien McGhee hauled in a Brock pass for an eight-yard touchdown three plays later, making it a 33-14 game. Liberty answered with an 11-play drive, capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Thomas Kennedy. On the ensuring PC drive, DaShawn Davis took a pass from Brock 26 yards for the score to cap off an eight-play, 75-drive to cut the lead to 40-21.
Liberty added to its lead with a 14-play touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter, highlighted by a one-yard touchdown run by Frankie Hickson to make it a 47-21 advantage. PC pulled closer with a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, as Brock went 14 yards for the score on the ground, the second rushing touchdown of his career, to pull it to the eventual final of 47-28.
Will Brock tallied a career-high 297 passing yards in the contest, while throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for one. The 297 passing yards are the most by a PC quarterback since 2013 when Heys McMath threw for 298 yards against Charleston Southern.
Brock has now thrown five touchdown passes over the last two games, the most TD passes in consecutive games by a PC quarterback since 2008 when Tim Webb combined for five touchdown passes against Wofford and Fayetteville State to open the season. In addition, Brock has thrown for 483 yards over the last two games, the most in consecutive games by a PC quarterback since 2009 when Brandon Miley threw for 498 yards against Coastal Carolina and Gardner-Webb in the final two games of the season.
Rock Ya-Sin turned in another solid defensive effort, recovering two Liberty fumbles in the contest to add to three tackles and three pass breakups. With the three PBUs, the junior corner now has 22 passes defended in his career, one shy of Justin Bethel for second place in PC’s Division I era. Ya-Sin now has a team-high seven takeaways on the season, accounting for over half of PC’s 12 as a team.
- PC went for a season-high 452 yards of total offense in game, throwing for 297 and rushing for 155. It is the most yards of total offense by the Blue Hose since 2014 when PC reached 678 yards of total offense against Bluefield.
- Torrance Marable rushed for 126 yards on 23 carries, an average 5.5 yards per carry, for his fourth 100-yard rushing game this season and second straight. He is the first PC player with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since 2015 when Darrell Bridges went over 100 in three straight games.
- Mark Robinson scored his team-high-tying fifth touchdown of the season in the first quarter. Robinson is now tied with fellow freshman running back Torrance Marable for the team lead. The two have combined for 10 of PC’s 17 touchdowns this year.
- Damien McGhee scored his second touchdown of the season in the third quarter, coming on a nine-yard pass from Brock. He finished the game with a career-high four receptions for 65 receiving yards.
- DaShawn Davis scored his third touchdown of the year with a 26-yard reception from Brock in the fourth quarter. Davis finished with four receptions for 61 yards, giving him seven straight games with at least four receptions and five straight games with at least 50 yards receiving.
- Dirk Cureton recorded a career-high 12 tackles to lead the Blue Hose defense in the game. The freshman corner also added a pair of pass breakups.
- Grant Beidel recorded seven tackles on the night, including a 0.5 tackle for loss. He pushes his career total to 202, becoming just the fourth player PC’s Division I history with at least 200 tackles. He joins Donelle Williams (408), Justin Bethel (279) and Ed Britt (257) as the others to do so.
- PC special teams blocked two kicks in the game. Michael Branch blocked a PAT in the first half and Gyasi Yeldell blocked a field goal attempt in the second half. As a team, PC has now blocked five kicks on the season.
PC returns home for its season finale, hosting Gardner-Webb on Senior Day on Saturday at Bailey Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on the Big South Network.