JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- East Tennessee State senior quarterback Todd Wells, the Southern Conference's all-time total offense leader (8,711 yards), ended his collegiate career in fashion by leading the Bucs to a 55-7 win against Charleston Southern in both teams season finale,at ETSU's Memorial Center.
In the game, Wells went 11-of-22 for 200 yards and three touchdowns -- two passing and one running. Wells set the ETSU single season total offense (2,957)and passing yardage (2,624) records in the game. His final collegiate pass was a 61-yard touchdown.
ETSU (6-5) ran for 244 yards on the day, led by freshman Andrew Nuckolls who gained 51 yards on six carries. Nuckolls had three touchdowns on the day -- two rushing and one receving. Corey Martin led all receivers with seven catches for 83 yards.
Charleston Southern (5-6) only managed 124 yards of total offense. Quarterback Travis Williams was 8-of-14 for 86 yards and one touchdown. Williams was picked twice.
The Bucs took the opening kickoff and drove 64 yards on 13 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Wells dove over the line to score from one-yard out. Charleston Southern didn't stay down long as it knotted the game 7-7 with a touchdown on the ensuing drive. Cunningham connected with Bryson Williams on a seven-yard pass to tie the game at 7:45 of the opening stanza.
Later in the quarter, the Bucs began a touchdown drive deep in Charleston Southern territory after a fumbled punt by CSU's Mark Vail. Four plays later, fullback Scott Carter slithered through the defense on a 10-yard scoring run. Con Chellis' extra point hit the left upright and ETSU led 13-7.
In the second quarter, Charleston Southern's Mark Vail intercepted Wells and gave the ball to the visitors deep in ETSU territory. The defense held and forced a 39-yard field goal attempt that ETSU's Montreal Harkley blocked. ETSU took advantage and went ahead 21-7 lead at 1:28 of the second quarter when Corey Carter powered around the left side for a one-yard touchdown. Wells found Allen Johnson alone in the endzone for the two-point conversion.
ETSU scored again with 1:09 remaining in the half, when Nuckolls scampered in from 12 yards out. It was Nuckolls first collegiate touchdown. The extra point gave the Bucs a 28-7 lead at the break.
ETSU's good fortunes continued on the opening drive of the second half. At 13:36 of the third quarter, Denario Smalls intercepted his fourth pass of the season, returning this one 36 yards for his first career touchdown to give ETSU a 35-7 lead.
Third quarter touchdown passes to Tony Tiller and Nuckolls increased the lead to 49-7. Wells to Nuckolls went 61 yards and propelled Wells to set the ETSU all-time single season passing mark. Wells finished the game with 200 passing yards and completed the 2000 season with 2,624 passing yards, more than anyone in ETSU history.
Nuckolls scored again, this time on a 20-yard run where he knifed through the secondary and completed the scoring at 55-7 early in the fourth quarter.
With the victory, ETSU secured its third winning season in the past four years. Head Coach Paul Hamilton earned his 23rd career win, more than any one ETSU coach after four years.