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Davidson Football Sets FCS Record

by | Nov 14, 2018 | Sports

Davidson quarterback Tyler Phelps looks to the sideline for the play call. [screen capture from West Coast Conference live stream]


SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Davidson set a new NCAA FCS record for rushing yards in a game, but football fell in a back and forth road shootout with the Pioneer Football League winning Toreros of the University of San Diego, 56-52. 

The ‘Cats running attack registered 789 yards on the ground, led by sophomore Wesley Dugger (231 yards), and broke a 30-year mark set by Missouri State in 1988 (681). With four 100-yard rushers, Davidson tied Jacksonville State’s 2013 mark of four rushers to eclipse the century mark in a single game. Also finishing with 150-yard days and all career highs, William Wicks (197), Tyler Phelps (153) and Keylan Brown (150). 

The Wildcats responded from a quick opening drive Torero touchdown and broke it open with four touchdowns and a field goal to jump out to a 31-7 lead early in the second.

Davidson’s first three touchdowns went for 80 yards or more. Dugger went 94 yards, Wicks broke free down the home sideline for 90 and Brown 80 yards to help bust open the game. Phelps broke free down the middle of the field for 56 yards and finished off the drive with a 2-yard keeper. 

Lost in the early offensive onslaught was the brilliant play of junior cornerback Rayshawn McCall. McCall broke up a pair of key passes and picked off an Anthony Lawrence pass to keep the potent USD offense from getting into a rhythm. 

Wicks added his second of the day to extend the advantage out to 24 points, but the home team Toreros showed their prowess with three straight scores from the arm of Lawrence to make it 38-35 Wildcats at the break. Davidson recorded 571 rushing yards in the first half.

The third quarter quieted down while the teams traded touchdowns, including Wicks third of the day, before the fourth quarter mayhem ensued.

Following an overturned Davidson touchdown call on the goal line in the fourth, the Toreros unleashed a 99-yard scoring strike to Michael Bandy for the go-ahead score, 52-49. 

The Wildcats responded with a 12-play, 63-yard scoring drive capped off with Brown’s second rushing score of the game. The drive was set up by freshman Cade Vela’s first career interception set up by a Kevin Stipe tipped pass.

With one final chance, Lawrence led San Diego down the field, connecting with Bandy for the third time and the eventual game winner.

Leading the way for Davidson on defense was junior Tony Collins with 8 total tackles. Classmate George Hatalowich registered 6 and 2,0 for loss, while McCall finished with 5, 4 solo.

Lawrence finished with 7 touchdown passes and 556 yards with Bandy catching 10 passes for 324 yards and 4 scores.

Davidson wraps up the 2018 season at Richardson Stadium Saturday, Nov.17 against Butler. Prior to kick off at 1 p.m., the Wildcats will honor its 13 seniors playing in the final game of their careers.

NOTE: your News of Davidson sports editor doesn’t typically track away games. However, this record-setting game seemed to call for an exception to those unofficial rules. 

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