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UPDATED: Football Opens Final Season in Richardson FRIDAY Night Against Barton

by | Sep 7, 2023

Coach Abell’s post-game talk at the 2022 FCS game vs. Richmond.


NOTE: The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but has been moved to Friday night.

GAME 2 | SEPT. 8, 2023 | 7:00 PM (ET) | RICHARDSON STADIUM (5,000) | DAVIDSON, N.C.

2023 Record: 0-1 (0-0 PFL)
2022 Record: 8-4 (6-2 PFL)
Head Coach: Scott Abell
Davidson Record: 34-20, 6th year
Career Record: 73-44, 12th year

2023 Record: 1-0 (0-0 SAC)
2022 Record: 4-7 (0-8 SAC)
Head Coach: Chip Hester
Barton Record: 11-16, 4th year
Career Record: 81-65, 15th year

Series Record: Davidson leads, 1-0
First Meeting: Davidson Won, 37-17 (9/10/22)
Last Meeting: Davidson Won, 37-17 (9/10/22)
Streak: Won 1
In Davidson: Davidson leads, 1-0
In Wilson: N/A
Abell vs. Barton: 1-0

1ST AND 10

  • Davidson will kick off its 100th and final campaign in Richardson Stadium FRIDAY evening when Barton College visits for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
  • This marks the second straight season the Wildcats will open a home slate against the Bulldogs.
  • The ‘Cats won last year’s meeting, the first-ever in the series, 37-17.
  • Davidson has won 13 straight at home dating back to the spring of 2021 season.
  • Davidson has also won its last seven home openers dating back to 2016.
  • The Wildcats enter 0-1 on the young season after dropping their week one matchup at VMI, 12-7.
  • Coming off its third straight FCS Playoff appearance, Davidson finished 2022 with an 8-4 overall mark (6-2 PFL), marking its fifth consecutive winning season.
  • The ‘Cats are just one of four teams to make back-to-back-to-back FCS Playoff appearances.
  • Now in his sixth season at the helm, head coach Scott Abell has guided the Wildcats to a 34-20 overall record and 25-12 conference mark, while capturing two of the last three PFL regular season crowns.
  • A year ago, the Wildcats were also just one of four FCS teams to finish in the top 20 nationally in both total offense and defense.
  • In addition, Davidson had the nation’s top rushing attack for the third straight season and fourth time under Coach Abell.
  • The Wildcats also ranked among FCS leaders in passing efficiency (178.88 | 3rd), scoring offense (31.9 | 18th) and time of possession (33:10 | 10th) last year.
  • Davidson was picked second in the Pioneer Football League preseason poll.


  • Barton defeated Chowan, 41-0, in its opener last Saturday.
  • The Bulldogs rushed for 338 yards, including 186 from running back Jordan Terrell, who was named an honorable mention All-American a year ago.
  • Terrell entered the 2023 season with 3,475 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns for his career.
  • Quarterback Jaquan Lynch ran for two scores and threw for another.
  • On defense, the Bulldogs return a pair of all-league performers in Shane Perry and Quayon Gilbert.
  • Barton finished the 2022 season 4-7 overall and 3-6 in SAC play.


  • Davidson and Barton met on the gridiron for the first time last season.
  • The Wildcats rushed for 403 yards en route to a 37-17 victory over the Bulldogs on Sept. 10, 2022 inside Richardson Stadium.


  • The Davidson Wildcats scored both quickly and methodically en route to a 37-17 win over Barton in the 2022 home opener at Richardson Stadium.
  • Davidson did most of its offensive damage on the ground, rushing for 403 yards — at 6.3 yards per rush — and pounded out a 15-play, 99-yard drive just before the first half ended to lead 27-14 at the break.
  • The Wildcats also got an early boost from freshman T.J. Magee‘s 97-yard kickoff return late in the first quarter, as his weaving right-to-left return made it 14-7.
  • Dylan Sparks’ 8-yard touchdown run at the 9:39 mark of the second quarter put the Wildcats ahead 20-14 and for good, and Coy Williams’ 1-yard score 15 seconds before the half capped the 99-yard march, which followed a goal line stand — four plays inside the 3-yard line — by the Wildcats’ defense.
  • The Wildcats had five players rush for at least 62 yards, including Williams (19 carries, 84 yards), Bernard Turner Jr. (9-80), Bradyn Oakley (5-74), Jayden Waddell (10-68) and Sparks (16-60), whose 10-yard scoring run at the 8:14 mark of the first quarter gave Davidson an early 7-0 lead.
  • The Wildcats extended their lead in the fourth quarter on Caden Bonoffski’s 40-yard field goal and Mason Sheron’s 12-yard touchdown run.
  • Defensive back Jaden Pask led the Wildcats with eight tackles, while defensive back Daniel Carter had six stops and an interception. Magee added a fourth-quarter interception to his kick return score, and defensive linemen Julian Rawlins and Ryan Moog registered sacks.


  • VJ Johnson scored on a 25-yard touchdown reception with 51 seconds remaining to lift VMI over Davidson, 12-7, in both teams’ season opener Saturday afternoon inside Foster Stadium.
  • Trailing 7-6 with 4:19 to play, the Keydets took over on their own 15 and went 85 yards on 12 plays, including a 28-yard catch by Aiden Twombly on 3rd and 20 inside their own territory to keep the drive alive.
  • After forcing a three-and-out to start the second half, Davidson marched down the field with a 16-play, 75-yard drive highlighted by a Luke Durkin 24-yard touchdown pass to Christian Barry that put the ‘Cats up 7-6. In addition to taking 9:42 off the game clock, the Wildcats converted multiple fourth downs en route to taking their first lead of the game.
  • Durkin concluded the afternoon 6-of-12 for 83 yards and a touchdown pass.
  • Despite the setback, Davidson’s defense turned in an impressive performance highlighted by Julian Rawlins’ seven tackles (2 for loss), sack and forced fumble. Sabin McLaughlin and Daniel Carter led the way with eight tackles each, while Amare Hill had a pick to halt VMI’s opening possession.
  • With 1:11 left in the opening half, the Keydets put the first points on the board with a Grant Swinehart touchdown run before the point after attempt was unsuccessful.
  • Another bright spot for Davidson was punter Tristan Allen, who averaged 44.2 yards per kick, including a 63-yarder, while pinning three inside the opponent’s 20.


  • Davidson will open Pioneer Football League action Saturday, Sept. 16 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. against Marist at 1 p.m.

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