Football: Big first half carries Panthers past N.C. Wesleyan

Football: Big first half carries Panthers past N.C. Wesleyan

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. - LaGrange used a big first half against North Carolina Wesleyan and went on to a 50-26 USA South win Saturday. The Panthers upped their conference record at 2-0 and evened their season record at 2-2.

Junior quarterback Graham Craig threw for four touchdowns and 406 yards in the game. Craig threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter in staking the Panthers to a 27-0 lead.

Craig had scoring passes of 3 yards to Ed Russ, 17 yards to Griffin Roelle and 63 yards to Marsalis Jackson. Marquius Young added a 3-yard scoring run.

The Panthers led 34-0 at halftime. Craig and Roelle hooked up for the second time from 26 yards out. Roelle has seven touchdown receptions this season, tying him for the most in a season by a Panther.  

Freshman Shaqualm McCoy closed out the scoring for the Panthers in the second half with touchdown runs of 53 and 14 yards. McCoy finished the game with 92 yards on six carries.

The Panthers had 11 players with at least one reception. Jackson had five catches for 124 yards and the touchdown. Roelle, Russ and Josh Hardwick each had three catches.

The Panthers finished the game with 541 yards of total offense. It was their second most yards this season.

Senior linebacker Andre Carter led the defense with 13 tackles. Freshman Brandon Penn had six tackles and an interception. Junior linebacker Connor McNamee and freshman Donovan Miller each had a fumble recovery.

The Panthers host Maryville in a USA South game for Homecoming 2013 next Saturday. Kickoff is 1 p.m.