Wildcat Football Falls in Final Home Game
DAVIDSON, N.C. — A football season of more significant progress ended with a 31-28 setback to Drake in the rain Saturday afternoon at Richardson Stadium.
Davidson concludes the 2019 season 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the Pioneer Football League and in fourth place. It’s the most wins in a Wildcats season since 2000.
“That’s a really good football team we played and battled,” said Davidson coach Scott Abell. “It could’ve gone either way, and unfortunately it didn’t go our way today. But at the end of the day, I’m so proud of our seniors, where they’ve come from and what they’ve built this program into. They’ve laid a foundation for us that everyone will benefit from. I’m so grateful for them.”Head Coach Scott Abell has a 14-9 record with the Wildcats.
In two years under Abell, the Wildcats are 14-9.
“We’re still very young in this,” he said. “We’re two seasons into a program that hadn’t had a winning season in forever, and now we’ve got back-to-back winning seasons. Let’s not forget what these seniors have done.”
The Wildcats led 7-0 and 14-7 Saturday, but Drake broke a 14-all tie late in the second quarter and twice pushed its lead to 10 points in the second half.
A second touchdown run by Davidson’s Wesley Dugger cut it to 31-28 with 8:25 left, but the Wildcats’ final two possessions stalled at the Drake 37 and the Davidson 35.
“It’s not the result you want, but it’s the effort we want,” said Abell. “I would tell you it’s probably one of the best games we’ve played at home all year, taking a handful of plays away.”
Davidson opened the game with a methodical 21-play, 87-yard drive and took a 7-0 lead on Dugger’s 1-yard touchdown run. The game’s first possession ate 11 minutes of clock.
“It’s really how you want to start the game,” said Abell.
Kahleel Shaw ran untouched for a 31-yard score to cap the Wildcats’ second drive and make it 14-7 at the 11:28 mark of the second quarter. But Drake scored the game’s next 17 points before Eli Turner’s 3-yard run pulled Davidson within 24-21 at the 6:25 mark of the third.
Dugger finished with 109 rushing yards to lead the offense, which outgained Drake 320-287. The program’s all-time leading rusher eclipsed 1,000-yards for the season in the second quarter, making it three years the Henrico, Va., native has done so, in as many tries.
Linebacker George Hatalowich led the defense with 15 tackles, including two for loss, and a fumble recovery. Hatalowich finished the year with a team-high 86 tackles.