Johnson City, Tenn. East Tennessee State survived a slow start and a few injuries to some key players to overcome Mars Hill 20-10 at Memorial Center Saturday night.
The Buccaneers, who evened their season record at 1-1, scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter on a couple of big time plays by two of ETSU's big time players. Fullback Scott Carter (Knoxville, Tenn.) gave the Bucs the lead, 13-7, on a 13-yard touchdown run. Then, after a Mars Hill field goal, wide out Cecil Moore (Morristown, Tenn.)caught a 38-yard TD pass from quarterback Dashannon Gamble (Ladson, S.C.) for the game's final score.
The three abovementioned players provided a much-needed spark for East Tennessee State. Moore caught three balls for 93 yards, including a 42-yard reception from Jason Davis (Sevierville, Tenn.). Carter rushed for 60 yards on seven carries (8.6 avg.), while Gamble was a perfect two-for-two in the passing category with two TD passes.
The second-half outburst came despite the loss of running back Mondo Miller (Chamblee, Ga.), starting outside linebacker Marco Bryant (Morganton, N.C.) and All-American cornerback Tony Tiller (Lithonia, Ga.) to injuries. All three players failed to return to the game.
Although the Bucs were missing some of their gladiators on the defensive end, ETSU came up with some big stops late in the game preventing any type of a comeback by the Mountain Lions. The visitor's last two possesions resulted in interceptions courtesy of Allen Davis and Montreal Harkely (Hanahan, S.C.). Linebackers Scott Brumett (Pioneer, Tenn.) and Andrew Foerster (Kingsport, Tenn.) were the big run stoppers for ETSU, leading the Buccaneers with 13 and 12 tackles, respectively.
One bright spot for Mars Hill was senior running back Travis McFadden who became the Mountain Lion's all-time leading rusher after gaining 97 yards on 32 rushing attempts.
McFadden had the team's lone touchdown on a three-yard scamper in the first quarter. However, the running back's shining moment was overcast due to an injury suffered late in the fourth quarter.
ETSU will travel to Boiling Springs, N.C. next Saturday to take on the Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.