Following a sluggish first quarter, Maryville College bounced back for a 28-10 victory over USA South foe LaGrange College, as sophomore back Jacob Bunch tied an MC record.
The Bean Station, Tenn. native scored each of Maryville's four rushing touchdowns on the afternoon, rolling up 171 total yards – his third 170-plus game of the season.
Bunch's four touchdowns tie the school record for scores in a game, as he joins Evan Pittenger and Charsie Robertson as the only Scots to rush for four touchdowns in a single contest.
Robertson did it in 1994 against Kentucky Wesleyan, while Pittenger accomplished the feat in 2015 versus Averett University.
Bunch has nine touchdowns in 2019, as he averages 117.6 rushing yards per game. He has 823 rushing yards on the season, as he currently ranks 13th in the MC record books in season rushing yardage with three games remaining on the docket.
Bunch had touchdown runs of 9, 15, 3 and 17 yards on the day, as the Scots followed him to overcome their first-quarter struggle.
After the first 15 minutes, Maryville had just 11 yards on 10 plays. LaGrange rolled up 146 yards on 26 plays – two of those going as successful fake punt attempts. The Panthers held control of the time of possession, 9:18 to 5:42, as an early second quarter field goal gave them a 10-0 advantage.
The Scots would find their rhythm in the second quarter, before scoring 28 unanswered points for the conference victory. Maryville had 119 yards on 21 plays during the second quarter to take a 14-10 lead to the half, while reversing the time of possession.
Defensively, Maryville followed JaCorey Jackson and Haydn Tanner. Tanner had a fumble recovery and an interception in the game to go with four tackles, as Jackson set up camp in the Panthers' backfield.
He had nine tackles, including 1.5 sacks for 11 yards and 2.5 tackles for loss. The defensive end also added five quarterback hurries on the afternoon. Bo Hering posted eight tackles, as Colby Manis added five.
Quarterbacks Trevor Thomas and Caden Harbin both went 4-for-9, as Thomas had 38 yards to Harbin's 34. Thomas also ranked second on the squad in rushing, following Bunch's 171 yards with 19 of his own.
For LaGrange, it was Cam Perkins who went 12-for-24 for 96 yards and a touchdown. Brendon Scott rushed for 98 yards on 20 carries, while Tyler Benjamin had six catches for 40 yards. Scott added four snags for 25 yards and a touchdown.
LaGrange College (3-4, 1-3 USA South) started the scoring on the afternoon, as they converted their first of four fourth downs. The Panthers found a 13-play, 58-yard drive that saw Perkins find Scott for a 7-yard touchdown pass to end the drive that took 5:18. Alex Rivera's point after was good for a 7-0 score with 8:01 left in the first.
LaGrange put together another long drive that was spurred by a 16-yard fake punt run by Jonathan Whisonant for a first down. It gave the Panthers new life, as they found first-and-goal on the Scots' 7-yard line. MC's defense held strong, forcing a 22-yard field goal by Rivera just into the second quarter for a 10-0 lead at the 14:11 mark of the second quarter.
Maryville College (2-5, 2-2) found a long drive of their own on their first possession of the second quarter. The 11-play, 56-yard drive took 5:22 off the clock, as it was highlighted by an 11-yard rush by Thomas. Bunch had runs of 15 and 10 in the march, before he completed the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run. MC cut the Panthers' lead to three, 10-7 with Ian Hubbs' extra point at the 8:42 mark.
Tanner found his second takeaway of the afternoon, as he picked off Caleb Speir, returning it 26 yards. Brandon Lurry and Jackson rushed Speir on the play, as Tanner's run set the Scots up on the LaGrange 28. Kris Hawkkins had rushes of 7 and 6 yards, before Bunch found a gap for a 15-yard touchdown run. Hubb's extra point made it 14-10 with 5:57 left in the half.
MC wouldn't let up, as they scored on their opening drive of the second half. The five-play, 58-yard drive was set up after Trenton Cumby and Jackson stuffed Cam Perkins on fourth-and-2. Bunch added a run of three-straight runs of 29, 5 and 3 to cap off the drive with his third touchdown of the day. Maryville led 21-10 following Hubbs' kick with 8:52 left in the third.
Both teams went scoreless until late in the fourth quarter. Braden Cloyd picked off Shedrick Lindsey, as he returned it 18 yards to the LaGrange 47. Bunch again took control, adding runs of 17 and 7. He completed the six-play, 47-yard drive with another 17-yard dash with 1:21 left. The score tied the Scots' record, while securing the 28-10 victory.
Maryvillle will return to action next week, as they travel to Danville, Va. to face Averett University. The Cougars are fresh off their first USA South loss to Huntingdon College, as the Scots enter the game on a two-game streak. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m.