Football Report 11/2/18

Davidson played Stetson University on 11/2. Stetson triumphed 56-53. Photo by Maya Eggert ’19.

Jacob Margolis ’20

Football correspondent 

On Saturday, the Davidson football suffered its third straight heartbreaking loss when they lost to Stetson 56-53 at home. The game was close the entire way as the two teams were never separated by more than 11 points; Stetson had to engineer a late touchdown drive to take the lead and beat the Wildcats.

The game was extremely offensively oriented and the statistics serve as proof. Davidson and Stetson combined for 55 first downs (27 by Davidson and 28 by Stetson), just two punts, and 1,238 total yards. Davidson, as is their typical style of play, picked up the lion’s share of their yards on the ground. Davidson players combined to rush for 519 yards and five touchdowns. Saturday’s efforts bring Davidson’s total season rushing yards to 3,561 and total season rushing touchdowns to 43. Both of these statistics lead the FCS by a wide margin. Davidson has 606 more rushing yards and 5 more rushing touchdowns than the next closest team, Kennesaw State.

Returning to Saturday’s game, Davidson was dominated through the air again. Stetson gained 336 passing yards, good for almost ten yards per attempt and sixteen yards per completion. One reason why Davidson continues to get gashed through the air? Davidson has had problems getting to the opposing quarterback. In their last three games the defense has mustered only two sacks even though opposing quarterbacks have dropped back to pass 99 times.  For those keeping track at home, that’s a sack rate of ostensibly 3%. It is not by chance that all three games during this stretch have been losses. It is very hard to beat air-centric offenses if your defense isn’t getting pressure.

Looking at the individual statistics, different players had to pick up the slack as star sophomore Wesley Duggar did not play this weekend. In Duggar’s absence, junior Keylan Brown and senior Kahleel Shaw set career highs for rushing yards (62 for the junior and 78 for the Senior). Junior tight end Hunter Louthan also hauled in an impressive 78-yard touchdown pass, his ninth catch and fifth touchdown of the season. To top it off, first-year Eli Turner exploded for 148 rushing yards and a touchdown. Turner had been rock-solid all season, but he really highlighted his ability and potential against Stetson. Otherwise, typical stars sophomore quarterback Tyler Phelps and junior running back James Story lived up to their reputation.  Phelps passed for two touchdowns and 115 yards and tacked on another 125 yards on the ground. Story meanwhile, ran for 117 yards and three touchdowns.

Stetson’s offense revolved around three players: quarterback Colin McGovern passed for 336 yards and three touchdowns, Donald Parham hauled in eight passes for a touchdown and 171 yards, and Jareem Westcott ran for 215 yards and five touchdowns.

Davidson has a bye this week before they try to snap this three-game losing streak against San Diego. This game will be extraordinarily tough to win as the game is in San Diego and the Toreros are first and undefeated in the conference.

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