Football: N.C. Wesleyan wins shoot out against Panthers in USA South opener

Photo by Matthew Strother
Photo by Matthew Strother

N.C. Wesleyan downed LaGrange 52-35 in a USA South shoot out Saturday in Callaway Stadium. The Panthers (2-2, 0-1) and Bishops (2-2, 1-0) combined for 890 yards of offense in the game.

"We just had a bad day overall," Coach Earl Chambers said. "There were some times where I thought we had the momentum but could not execute offensively; defensively we had players taking bad angles on the ball and not tackling well. I thought we just had a lack of a sense of urgency on everybody's part. We had a lot of things go wrong and could not overcome it.

How it Happened

  • The Bishops took the opening kickoff 72 yard in 14 plays to jump out to a 7-0 lead. LC answered in less than two minutes. Quarterback Shedrick Lindsey connected with Tarin Westbrook on a 60-yard pass play to pull the Panthers within one, 7-6, after a missed two-point conversion.
  • N.C. Wesleyan needed only 49 seconds for its second score. Donielle Totten hooked up with Jai Irvin on a 70-yard pass play to make it 14-6. Totten's third touchdown pass of the half increased the Bishops' lead to 21-6 three minutes into the second quarter.
  • The Panthers made it a one-score possession with a quick 4-play, 75-yard drive. It would be the first of four occasions in the game LC got within one score of the Bishops. Brendon Scott's 4-yard touchdown was set up by Lindsey's 58-yard pass play to De'queze Fryer down to the Bishops' 15-yard line. The Panthers went into halftime trailing 21-13.
  • N.C. Wesleyan scored three times in the second half to open up two-score leads. LC came back each time with an answering touchdown. Scott ran 26 yards for his second touchdonw and Landon Emery hauled in a 28-yard pass from Cam Perkins
  • Perkins threw 41 yards to Jeremiah Engram to bring the Panthers within seven, 42-35, early in the fourth quarter. The Bishops put the game away with a field goal and a 31-yard run by Darian Curley, who finished with a game-high 174 yards rushing.

By The Numbers

  • The Panthers finished with a season-high 292 yards passing in the game.
  • The Panthers had two interceptions in the game, giving them seven on the season. They had six during the 2018 season.
  • The 87 combined points in the game was the sixth most in the program's history, eclipsing the 86 combined points in LC's 48-38 win last season over Methodist.
  • In the last two games played at Callaway Stadium, the two teams have combined for 181 points.

Panther Standouts

  • Linebacker Randy Fillingame had a game-high 12 tackles and two interceptions. Fillingame made an outstanding play on the first interception; tipping the ball to himself as he was going to the ground.
  • Defensive back Peyton Haynes had five tackles and recovered a fumble.
  • Scott finished with 70 yards rushing and 35 yards receiving. Scott took a fake punt shovel pass from Jonathan Whisonant for a 26-yard gain and a first down in the first quarter.
  • Engram led the team with 114 all-purpose yards (50 receiving, 64 kick returns).

Up Next

The Panthers play at Averett next Saturday. Averett is the preseason pick to win the USA South title.