By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Vogelbach, Quakers Ground The Cardinals 41-18
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Quakers of Guilford College wanted to finish their last home game of the season on a winning note and send their seniors away with a win as well for their last home game. Josh Vogelbach and the Quaker defense made sure that happen.
Vogelbach passed for 397 yards and five touchdowns in just over three quarters of work and the Quakers defense forced collected five interceptions in leading Guilford past visiting Catholic Saturday, 41-18, in an ODAC game at Haworth Field.
In the first quarter, both teams came out tight and were unable to really establish any offense early but the Quakers did get the first break in the game. After driving down the field on an impressive nine-play, 64-yard drive consuming 3:38 of the clock, the Quakers “bend but don’t break” defense came up with a turnover.
A Keith Ricca pass was intercepted by Brandon Sparrow in the end zone for a touchback and gave Guilford the ball at their own 20 yard line. The Quakers unfortunately were unable to capitalize on the turnover and were forced to punt.
After Catholic had no success and was forced to punt after another three and out series, the Quakers finally got on the board with a quick scoring drive.
Vogelbach threw a quick strike to All-American Candidate Chris Barnette from a yard out for a touchdown. The extra point failed but the Quakers had a 6-0 lead with 8:03 left in the first quarter. The touchdown was set up by a 47-yard pass from Vogelbach to Kevin Vaughn to the Catholic 1 yard line.
The Cardinals came right back to tie the game with their own quick strike offense. It only took one play for for Ricca to hit Andrew Buis for an 80 yard score.
The Cardinals went for a two point conversion, but after it was intercepted by Brandon Sparrow, the score remained tied at 6-6 with 7:24 left in the first quarter.
Once again, Guilford College failed to move the ball and was forced to punt but once again opportunity knocked at the door when the defense made another big play. After a fumble by Catholic was turned back over to Catholic after the defender fumbled after trying to run with the ball, Ricca gave the ball right back to Guilford College two plays later.
Ricca went back to pass and was intercepted by the Quakers Dan Presley who ironically was the defender that forced the fumble on the bizarre play mentioned earlier.
The Quakers finally went to work on an impressive drive. Vogelbach led the Quakers down the field on a 10-play, 89-yard drive consuming 3:06 and concluding with a 25 yard pass from Vogelbach to Micah Rushing and with the point after, the Quakers led13-6 early in the second quarter.
After the teams traded punts and stalled drives, Guilford got on the board once again. Taking the ball at the 35 Guilford’s quick strike offense went down the field on a 7-play, 65-yard drive taking only 1:14 off the game clock.
A Vogelbach to Kevin Vaughn 26 yard touchdown pass made the score 20-6 with 6:07 to play in the half. It was Vogelbach’s third scoring pass of the game.
The Quakers defense continued to play well and hit hard forcing another fumble but yet again, immediately turning it back over to Catholic. The Cardinals could not re-establish their offensive flow and was forced to punt on two more occasions.
Meanwhile, the Quakers got in the end zone once again. Taking over possession at their own 42 with a minute left in the half, Vogelbach led the team down the field on a two-play, 58-yard drive consuming only 24 seconds.
It concluded with a 58 yard touchdown pass down the field to Carlton Hughes making the score 27-6 with just 36 seconds left in the half. It was Vogelbach’s fourth touchdown pass of the game. Catholic got the ball back and let the clock run out making the score at halftime 27-6.
The second half began the way the first half ended with The Quakers back in the scoring column. Vogelbach’s brilliant game continued when he orchestrated a 9 play 55 yard drive consuming 1:59 off the clock.
It concluded with a 2 yard run by Rushing giving Guilford College a commanding 34-6 lead with 12:56 left in the third quarter. It was Rushing’s second touchdown of the game and first on the ground.
Buis fumbled but once again it was fortunately recovered by the Cardinals. The Quakers even intercepted Ricca again (again by Presley), but once again they didn’t capitalize on the turnover.
The Quakers forced another fumble in the third quarter, this time by Brad Fortier but were unable to carouse the ball. This time, a missed opportunity to come up with the ball proved costly. After Catholic retained possession, Ricca hit Ryan Bowman for a 31 yard touchdown making the score 34-12 after the two point conversion failed.
The teams traded a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter and the final score of the game was 41-18 in favor of Guilford College.
Guilford’s defense picked off five Catholic passes, matching the Quakers’ school record for interceptions set against Bridgewater in 1997. Freshman Dan Presley made two of the interceptions, both in Guilford territory. Two of the interceptions set up Guilford touchdowns.
Vogelbach threw two scores to Kevin Vaughn, who finished with five catches for 114 yards. Carlton Hughes enjoyed a career day with five receptions for 127 yards.
Chris Barnette, one of eight Guilford seniors playing their final home game, made a game-high 10 receptions for 77 yards and a score in just over two quarters of work. Micah Rushing had five grabs for 44 yards and a score.
Ricca passed for 446 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw all five interceptions. Buis made eight catches for a game-high 186 yards but put the ball on the ground for near fumbles. He accounted for 337 all-purpose yards. Ryan Bowman had six catches for 88 yards and two scores.
With the win, The Quakers clinched their first winning season since 1997 with their sixth win of 2006 and improved to 6-3 overall, 3-2 in the ODAC. The Cardinals drop to 3-6, 1-4 in the ODAC with their fifth straight loss.
Guilford closes its 2006 schedule next Saturday at league-rival Emory & Henry. The Cardinals host Bridgewater next Saturday in their season finale.