PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Shorter University opened the game with 29 first-quarter points and cruised past Pikeville College 49-14 Saturday afternoon at the W.C. Hambley Athletics Complex.
Shorter, 1-2, had opened its season with NCAA Div. I Western Carolina and NCAA Div. II Georgia State, and as a result had only scored 14 points. But on Saturday, playing their first Mid-South Conference opponent of the season, the Hawks soared past the Bears thanks to 468 rushing yards.
In fact, Shorter got nearly all its yardage on the ground. Pikeville senior linebacker Anson Cunningham, who had 10 solo tackles in the loss, caught as many Shorter passes – two – as the receiving corps of the Hawks.
But Cunningham’s effort wasn’t nearly enough on Saturday. Junior slot back Antwon Appleton took the first Shorter play 31 yards for a touchdown and the Hawks were off and running. Before the period ended, freshman Kenny Foster had scored from three yards out, sophomore Octavious Edge crossed from seven yards away and sophomore Brandon Morten scored on a 25-yard run.
For good measure, the defense got in on the act before the period ended, with junior Albert Huntley forcing a safety, and the score was 29-0 by the time the long first period finally ended.
Senior quarterback Ben Williams scored on a one-yard keeper with 31 seconds left in the half to make it 36-0 at recess.
Williams had scored again, on another one-yard run, before Pikeville finally found pay dirt in the third. The first score came on a five-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Trevor Hoskins to freshman Axxel Rivas, and on the final play of the quarter, Hoskins hit freshman Jordan Amis on a nice crossing pattern for a 12-yard score.
Sophomore Mike Heiss hit both PATs to make it 42-14 heading into the final period.
Morten closed scoring with an eight-yard pass from junior David Byrd with 11:49 left.
Freshman Troy Postell, subbing for kicker David Gulliford, hit 5-of-7 extra-point tries for the Hawks.
Pikeville (0-3) finished the game with only 42 yards rushing. Freshman Al Mayes led the way with 47 yards on eight carries (5.9 yards per carry). Hoskins was 25-of-44 for 274 yards with the two scores but did throw three interceptions.
He hit junior Bobby Owens and sophomore Chris Joseph five times each. Owens had 58 yards with Joseph accounting for 55.
Shorter had 14 different players tote the pigskin on Saturday, finishing with its 468 yards on 66 carries for a team average of 7.1 yards per carry. The balanced attack was paced by junior Albert Huntley, who had 68 yards on only five carries.
Five Hawks had at least 50 yards rushing, with two more reaching 40 or more.
Cunningham was the only player in the game with double-figure tackles. Senior Jamar Porter followed with eight, including six solos, and junior Rodney Dantes followed with seven solo tackles.
Shorter got tackles from 26 different players in the win, with junior defensive back Mason Strickland land senior defensive back Josh Gibson leading the way with five solo tackles each.
Pikeville will return to action again next Saturday, playing one final MSC West foe when it visits Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala., for a 2:30 EDT start. Shorter College will head home next week, entertaining Georgetown College.