East Tennessee State Football Defeats Gardner-Webb in Home Opener, 30-17

Saturday, September 08, 2001

Johnson City, Tenn. -- Junior fullback Scott Carter scored touchdowns on consecutive ETSU drives in the second quarter to turn a tie into a 21-7 Buccaneer lead as ETSU snapped Gardner-Webb's six-game winning streak, 30-17 Saturday night from Memorial Center. The Buccaneers opened the game quickly, scoring on their first possession as junior Cecil Moore would haul in a nine yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Wilhjelm. Gardner-Webb would answer with 1:38 remaining in the first stanza as Jeremy Martin would connect with William Andrews on a three yard touchdown pass to tie the game at seven. Carter would then take over as he would score on a 15-yard touchdown run and a 11-yard touchdown run in the middle of the second quarter. Gardner-Webb would close out the half with a quick touchdown drive, capped off by a Justin Richardson eight yard touchdown run with 0:29 remaining in the half. The second half did not have nearly the offensive fireworks as the first half as the game turned into a battle of field goals. Gardner Webb kicker Andrew Harmon connected on a 38-yard field goal with 8:17 remaining in the third quarter, cutting the ETSU lead to 21-17. But the Buccaneer defense would then step up, shutting out the powerful Bulldog offense for the rest of the game. ETSU kicker Con Chellis would made three consecutive field goals over the remainder of the game to put the contest out of reach. Wilhjelm came out hot, completing his first 11 passes of the game. He turned in his second-consecutive impressive performance, going 16-25 on the evening, with 228 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception. His counterpart, Jeremy Martin of Gardner-Webb went 13-31 with 185 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions. Richardson turned in a great gane for the Bulldogs, bruising the Bucs for 133 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. It was his fourth straight game with more than 120 yards. Carter led the Bucs with 68 yards on 14 carries. Freshman Terry Copeland was not far behind, gaining 62 yards on 15 carries in his first collegiate start. Moore led the Bucs in receiving, hauling in eight passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. William Andrews and Willie Buchanant each caught four passes for Gardner-Webb, Andrews for 40 yards and Buchanant for 37. There were many defensive heroes for ETSU on the defensive side of the ball. Sophomore cornerback Tony Tiller had the best game of his young career as a cornerback, tallying seven tackles and two key third quarter interceptions on consecutive Gardner-Webb drives. Linebacker Marco Bryant also had the best game of his ETSU career, tallying a game high 14 tackles. For the Bulldogs, Jim Maxwell led the team with 12 tackles and Jenson Turner had two tackles and picked off a Wilhjelm pass, setting up a field goal. The Bucs move on to play at VMI on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. in their Southern Conference opener. Gardner-Webb continues on the road, travelling to Northwestern (La.) State Saturday night.