Defense rallies for win in MSHA Spring Game
Kaman Cooper celebrates after recording an interception in Saturday's MSHA Spring Game.
Defense rallies for win in MSHA Spring Game
Saturday, April 8, 2017

Buccaneer defense forces four turnovers; scores 14 unanswered points to claim 28-21 win

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 8, 2017) – Highlighted by four forced turnovers and 14 unanswered points, the Buccaneer defense rallied for a 28-21 win over the offense to cap off the 2017 Mountain States Health Alliance Spring Football Game on Saturday afternoon at Kermit Tipton Stadium. 

HOW THE GAME WAS SCORED

The game featured Offense (Blue) vs. Defense (White) and had a specific scoring system…

Offensive Scoring – Touchdown = 6pts; Field Goal =3pts; Extra-Point = 1pt

Defensive Scoring – Interception = 7pts; Fumble Recovery = 7pts; Safety = 2pts;

Missed Field Goal = 3pts; Missed Extra-Point = 1pt   

POSTGAME COMMENTS

Following the game, Dylan Weigel, Austin Herink and Coach Torbush talked about spring practice and the game. 

STATS

DEFENSE

As a unit, ETSU’s defense totaled 70 tackles, seven sacks, 13 tackles for loss, three interceptions, one fumble recovery and four pass break-ups. 

Defensive backs Kaman Cooper (Warner Robins, Ga.), Jeremy Lewis (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Bryce Suber (Lebanon, Tenn.) accounted for the interceptions, while freshman defensive lineman Olajuwon Pinkelton (Cincinnati, Ohio) had the fumble recovery. 

Cooper led the defense with six tackles, while Jack Jones (Bristol, Tenn.) totaled five. 

Defensive lineman Chris Stine (Bristol, Va.) registered four tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and had a forced fumble, while Jason Maduafokwa (Seymour, Tenn.) finished with two tackles, one sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. 

Joining Stine and Maduafokwa with sacks were Blake Bockrath (Loveland, Ohio), Joe Pittman (Pell City, Ala.), Austin Rowan (Knoxville, Tenn.), and Ferguierson Charles (Fort Myers, Fla.), while Austin Gatewood (Ooltewah, Tenn.) and Nasir Player (Columbia, S.C.) combined for a sack. 

Colton Lakes (Loveland, Ohio), Domenique Williams (Charlotte, N.C.), Jevon Gooden (Jamaica Queens, N.Y.), Jackson Trawick (Suwanee, Ga.), Ludovic Saintvil (Florida City, Fla.), Player and Bockrath all totaled three tackles. 

OFFENSE

The Buccaneer offense totaled 316 yards – 242 yards passing and 74 yards rushing. 

Sophomore running back Matt Thompson (Morristown, Tenn.) rushed for 54 yards on six carries and recorded a 28-yard touchdown run. 

Dylan Wieger (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the quarterbacks with 129 yards passing – including a 47-yard touchdown pass to Drake Powell (Clinton, Tenn.)Nick Sexton (Seymour, Tenn.) threw for 58 yards and connected on a 14-yard score to Quan Harrison (Greeneville, Tenn.) … Sexton and Wieger combined for 14-of-25 passing with 187 yards and two touchdowns. 

Artevius Smith (Birmingham, Ala.), Vincent Lowe (Chesapeake, Va.) and Anthony Spagnoletti (Bealeton, Va.) led the Buccaneer receivers with three receptions each, while Harrison led the group with 49 yards receiving. 

In total, 13 Buccaneer receivers accounted for their 21 receptions. 

SCORING

The defense struck for the first points of the afternoon when Kaman Cooper intercepted Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.) on the opening drive, giving them a 7-0 lead. 

The offense followed with 14 unanswered points to go ahead, 14-7 … Drake Powell started the scoring as he hauled in a 47-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Wieger, while Matt Thompson then rushed one in from 28 yards en route to giving offense its first lead of the day. 

After forcing a three-and-out on the ensuing drive, the defense tied the game at 14 when Jeremy Lewis intercepted another Herink pass; however, the offense strung together a 9-play, 62-yard scoring drive right before halftime to go ahead, 21-14, when Nick Sexton found Quan Harrison from 14 yards out. 

Following halftime festivities, the defense rallied for 14 points to cap off the 28-21 win … The defense tied the game at 21 when Chris Stine forced a fumble and Olajuwon Pinkelton recovered the loose ball, while Bryce Suber’s intercepted a pass from D.J. Vanderwerf (Sweetwater, Tenn.) to complete the comeback. 

HALFTIME RECOGNITIONS

At halftime, the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics honored the Bucs for their hard work in the classroom and on the field … Fifty-two Buccaneers were recognized for being placed on the Honor Roll (3.0 GPA or higher), while 18 players earned Dean’s List (3.5 GPA or higher) recognition. 

Sophomore defensive lineman Chris Bouyer (Rock Hill, S.C.) was honored for receiving Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar … Bouyer – who has started all 22 games in his career – totaled 57 tackles, four tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and one quarterback hurry in those contests … In the classroom, Bouyer – an engineering technology major – has posted a 3.612 grade point average, while earning Dean’s List honors in the fall of 2015, being named to the 2015-16 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll and to the 2016 Academic All-SoCon team. 

ETSU’s all-conference members were also recognized as sophomore linebacker Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio) earned second team all-conference honors by the media, while offensive lineman Ben Blackmon (Newberry, S.C.) and defensive linemen Jason Maduafokwa and Nasir Player were placed on the all-freshman team.  

Head coach Carl Torbush also recognized ETSU’s four seniors – Ryan Powers (Jupiter, Fla.), Tavian Lott (D’Lo, Miss.), Chad Pritchard (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Royce Turnbull (Charlotte, N.C.) – with framed jerseys. 

WHAT’S AHEAD

The Bucs now turn their attention to the 2017 season opener as ETSU hosts Limestone on Sept. 2 inside its new, on-campus ETSU Football Stadium … Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. 

For more information on Buccaneer football, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football page.