It was a fitting way to end a career.
The Maryville College Fighting Scots honored 12 seniors on Saturday afternoon, as the squad rolled up 627 yards of total offense – 535 of that rushing – in route to a 52-3 victory over Greensboro College.
Saturday's victory gave this class of seniors 29 wins, as they become the winningest class in Maryville College history. The squad passed the 1976-1979 class two weeks ago with a win over LaGrange, as that class ended their careers with 27 total victories.
With Saturday's win on Senior Day, the squad becomes only the sixth squad to win eight or more games in a season.
"Today was special, because it was Senior Day," Head Coach Shaun Hayes said. "It was also difficult, because you know you don't have a lot to play for. At the same time, I think the leadership that we got from this class, I think the numbers speak for themselves. They did a great job all week long, and I think everybody rallied around them to honor that senior class."
Maryville celebrated the careers of four outstanding seniors – Gabe Johnson, Evan Pittenger, Jonathan Clark, Mickey Chait, Brady Brown, Terrell Warren, Austin Newton, Zach Capehart, Kent Minor, Dylan Placher, Connar Benson-Epstein and Chase Courson – in the victory.
Maryville's Pittenger leaves the Scots' program with his name in high places on the Maryville College record books. The three-time captain – a mark only he and Capehart have accomplished in MC football history – leaves Maryville with a career passing mark of 55.6 percent, which ranks atop the Scots' records.
Pittenger also threw for 423-of-766 for his career, as both the completions and attempts rank second all-time, coming behind only Pat Moyer (1982-1985). Pittenger tossed for 4,882 career yards, which also ranks second in the MC record books behind Moyer's 5,943.
Pittenger also sits in second place with 37 career touchdown passes, falling only behind Joe Costner's 42 from 1971-1973.
The dual threat quarterback also has his name high on the Orange and Garnet rushing records. Pittenger carried 400 times in his career – a mark that ranks third behind MC greats Rommel Hightower (683, 2006-2009) and Travis Felder (528, 2010-2013). Pittenger narrowly missed the 2,000-yard rushing mark, posting 1,986 total yards, which ranks him fourth all-time in Maryville history. With his rushing touchdown in the third quarter, Pittenger ties Hightower with 30 career touchdowns. Only Felder – who rushed for 33 – has more running scores.
In all, Pittenger tallied 6,920 combined rushing, passing and receiving career yards, while having a hand in 67 touchdowns.
The Scots were led on Saturday, though, by sophomore back Deshjion Whitlock. Maryville averaged 7.1 yards per carry, as Whitlock tallied 194 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. The 194 yards ranks as the eighth-best game by a Maryville College runner in the program's 122-year history.
Freshman back Elijah Chenier also eclipsed the 100-yard mark, posting 156 yards on 19 carries – also for two scores. Chenier's 156 yards rushing is tied for 18th-best with Maryville great Boydson Baird from 1939.
Maryville College's defense, led by seniors Capehart, Johnson, Clark, Minor and Newton held the Pride to only 208 total yards of offense. The held Greensboro to only 16 yards rushing, while forcing four turnovers.
Johnson led Maryville with 10 tackles, including a tackle for loss, while Clark tallied six tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. He also had four quarterback hurries.
For Greensboro, it was all quarterback Mac Graham. The hurler throw 17-of-39 for 192 yards, while Raymond Bridges caught seven passes for 83 yards.
Chase Sams led Greensboro offensively with 23 total tackles, while Micah McMaster added an additional 21.
Greensboro College (3-7, 2-5 USA South) would strike first, before the Scots would roll off 52 straight unanswered points to end the game. The Pride marched the field, going 45 yards in only nine plays, but the squad would stall at the Maryville 21. Ryan Campbell's 38-yard field goal gave Greensboro a 3-0 lead with 11:26 to play in the first quarter.
The Scots (8-2, 5-2) would waste no time, though, scoring just 3:57 later. Pittenger's pass to Brown went for 25 yards on third-and-16, as Brown snagged the pass around the defender. Alex Willard's kick made the score 7-3 with 7:29 left in the first stanza.
Two plays into the Pride's next drive, Graham would fumble the ball. Ron McGriff would pick it up, returning it 22 yards for the touchdown for the Scots. Maryville led 14-3 at the 6:43 mark.
It would be the second quarter before Maryville would score again. Chenier rushed the final yard of a 13-play, 89-yard drive, as he and Whitlock carried the load. Willard's kick bounced off the right upright, going through, for a 21-3 Maryville lead.
Willard would again put Maryville into the scoring column, knocking through a 27-yard field goal attempt after Maryville's 10-play, 54-yard drive stalled at the Greensboro 10-yard line. The Scots led 24-3 with 4:55 left in the first half.
With only 37 second left in the half, Maryille's Whitlock would find his first score. Whitlock rushed the final 4 yards of a nine-play, 71-yard drive, making the score 31-3. It would remain there at the half.
Chenier would pick up his second touchdown of the evening after the opening kickoff of the second half. The freshman back finished an eight-play, 74-yard drive with a 15-yard jaunt to pay dirt. With 11:31 left in the third quarter, Maryville would lead 38-3.
With 6:51 to go in the third quarter, Pittenger would find his record-tying touchdown run. The senior faked the handoff to Whitlock, going around the end for the 5-yard score to finish an 11-play, 82-yard drive. The score gave Maryville a 45-3 advantage over Greensboro late.
The Scots' final score would come with 2:47 left in the third quarter. Whitlock found his second rushing score of the afternoon, this time from 6 yards out. The score came after Capehart – a senior – forced a Greensboro fumble. It allowed Maryville to go on a seven-play, 49-yard drive for the final margin.