Blue rallies from early deficit to win MSHA Spring Game, 31-30
The Blue team celebrates after rallying for a 31-30 win over Gold in Saturday's MSHA Spring Game.
Blue rallies from early deficit to win MSHA Spring Game, 31-30
Saturday, April 9, 2016

Bucs close out spring practice in front of over 2,800 fans Saturday afternoon inside MSHA Athletic Center

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 9, 2016) – In front of 2,815 fans Saturday afternoon inside the MSHA Athletic Center, the Blue team (offense) rallied from an early 27-7 deficit to defeat the Gold team (defense) as freshman kicker Landon Kunak (Spartanburg, S.C.) made the game-winning field goal to cap off a 31-30 comeback in the MSHA Blue-Gold Spring Game.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

OFFENSE

  • The Bucs racked up 388 yards of total offense Saturday, including 315 through the air.
  • ETSU’s quarterbacks Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.) and Nick Sexton (Seymour, Tenn.) combined to connect on 27 of their 40 pass attempts on the afternoon. Both signal callers also tossed a touchdown pass in the contest. Dylan Wieger (Kingsport, Tenn.) completed four of his seven pass attempts for 44 yards.
  • Wide receiver Hunter Wike (Canton, N.C.) paced the team on the ground gaining 28 yards on three carries, including a 14-yard run. Matt Thompson (Morristown, Tenn.) and Cory Colder (Ashburn, Va.) notched rushing touchdowns for the Bucs … Colder capped off a 10-play, 55-yard scoring drive with a 7-yard run in the third quarter, while Thompson recorded a five-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.
  • Vincent Lowe (Chesapeake, Va.) was the top target of Herink and Sexton as he hauled in six receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Lowe also registered the longest pass of the game – a 33-yard reception from Sexton.
  • In addition to Lowe, Wike and Hank Black (Knoxville, Tenn.) also were threats in the passing game as they both caught four passes … Wike finished with 36 receiving yards, while Black tallied 19 with a touchdown … Malik Styles (Dandridge, Tenn.) also finished with three catches for 45 yards.

DEFENSE

  • Defensively, ETSU made 81 total tackles with two sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.
  • Linebackers River Boruff (Sparta, Tenn.) and Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio) led the team with six tackles each and both players also tallied a stop behind the line of scrimmage.
  • The Bucs’ two sacks in the contest were by Trey Quillin (New Albany, Ohio) and Jason Maduafokwa (Seymour, Tenn.) … The two sacks by Quillin and Maduafokwa totaled for a loss of eight yards.
  • The Gold team notched 18 of its points thanks to a pair of interceptions by Tavian Lott (D’Lo, Miss.) and Paul Hunter (Denton, Texas) … Lott picked off Herink on the fifth play of the game and returned it 28 yards for the touchdown, while Hunter intercepted a pass from Sexton.
  • As a team the Bucs’ defense made 11 tackles for loss – two of which came from Tremond Ferrell (Washington, Ga.).

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • To go with his game-winning 37-yard field goal as time expired, Kunak also made his three extra-point attempts … Marion Watson (Waxhaw, N.C.) made his lone extra-point attempt.

POSTGAME COMMENTS

Head Coach Carl Torbush, defensive coordinator Billy Taylor and offensive coordinator Mike O'Cain talk about the Spring Game...

OTHER NOTABLES

At halftime, the ETSU football team was honored for its hard work and successes both on and off the field of play … The 2015-16 Buccaneer football team registered a cumulative team GPA of 2.905, with 46 players placed on the Honor Roll for achieving a GPA above a 3.0 and 14 Bucs placed on the Dean’s List for earning a grade point average above a 3.5.

In addition to the achievements in the classroom, the Blue and Gold were recognized for their work within the community … Over the past year, the Buccaneers volunteered time working with Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Mountain Home VA, Kennedy Elementary, Ridgeview Elementary, St. Mary’s School, Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, Buccaneer Christmas, Sycamore Creek Church, Rotary Club, Next Level 7 on 7. 

At the end of halftime, red-shirt freshman Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio) was honored for being the national leader in solo tackles among FCS players (7.2 per game), while also being a finalist for the STATS FCS Freshman of the Year Award … Weigel played in all 11 games for the Blue and Gold and totaled 127 tackles with 79 of those being solos … Weigel’s 20-tackle performance against Emory & Henry marked the sixth highest by an FCS player, while it also tied for the second-most in ETSU single-game history … In total, Weigel recorded double-digit tackles in nine games, including six straight to end the season … Dylan was joined by his parents as he received a plaque by the NCAA and a framed certificate from STATS. 

The MSHA Blue-Gold Game marked the end of official spring workouts for the Bucs. Coming off its first season as a FCS Independent in 2015, ETSU joins the Southern Conference in 2016. The Bucs open the season on Sept. 3 at Kennesaw State, while hosting Western Carolina in their SoCon opener on Sept. 17 at Bristol Motor Speedway. 

For more on ETSU football throughout the spring and summer months visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football link.