October 08, 20161st2nd3rd4thFinal
1st Quarter
VMITD05:20Alex Keys 1 Yd Run (D. Christopher kick)
VMITD00:14Javeon Lara 54 Yd Pass From Al Cobb (D. Christopher kick)
2nd Quarter
VMITD04:08Aaron Sanders 45 Yd Pass From Al Cobb (D. Christopher kick)
VMITD00:24Chad Jacob 9 Yd Pass From Al Cobb (D. Christopher missed kick)
3rd Quarter
VMIFG09:29D. Christopher 51 Yd
4th Quarter
VMITD04:31Tyain Smith 73 Yd Run (Reed King kick)
ETSUTD00:36Malik Styles 3 Yd Pass From Nick Sexton (JJ Jerman kick)
Stats at a GlanceETSUVMI
1st Downs1321
3rd Down Conversions3-154-11
4th Down Conversions1-10-1
Passing (Comp-Att)159 (14-32) 225 (15-23)
Rushing (Att)103 (38) 233 (41)
Total Yards262458
Fumbles Lost00
Bucs travel to VMI on Saturday
Bucs travel to VMI on Saturday
Friday, October 7, 2016

LEXINGTON, Va. (Oct. 7, 2016) – The ETSU football team returns to action this Saturday as the Bucs head to Lexington, Va., for a Southern Conference road game at VMI. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. at Foster Stadium. 


The Bucs split their first four games of the season and enter this weekend’s game at 2-2, 1-2 in SoCon play … ETSU opened the season with back-to-back wins over Kennesaw State and Western Carolina, before falling to Wofford and No. 3 Chattanooga. 

ETSU is coming off a 37-7 home loss to No. 3 Chattanooga last weekend. 

Junior defensive back Daren Ardis (Bradenton, Fla.) etched his name in the ETSU record book in last Saturday’s game vs. Chattanooga … Ardis’ 87-yard fumble return matched the longest in school history ... Ardis joins former Buccaneer Charles Stein at the top of that list ... Stein returned a fumble 87 yards in 1978 against Appalachian State … The turnover resulted in a touchdown as sophomore quarterback Nick Sexton (Seymour, Tenn.) connected on an 11-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Ponchillia (Nashville, Tenn.) … Ponchillia has posted at least one reception in all 15 games played in his ETSU career. 

Sophomore Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio) – who leads the Bucs in tackles with 37 – recorded his 11th career game with double-digit tackles as he finished with a game-high 12 against Chattanooga. 

As a team, ETSU ranks among the national FCS leaders in several categories … The

Bucs are tied for first in red zone offense (1.000), rank third in fewest interceptions thrown

(1), fifth in turnovers lost (3), 16th in third down conversion percentage (47.5), 18th in

completion percentage (65.1), and 19th in passing yards allowed (177.3) 

Individually, sophomore kicker JJ Jerman (Seymour, Tenn.) is tied for first among FCS players in field goal percentage (1.000) … Red-shirt freshman linebacker Jason Maduafokwa (Seymour, Tenn.) ranks eighth in sacks per game (1.00), junior defensive back Daren Ardis ranks 11th in forced fumbles (0.50) … Sophomore quarterback Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.) ranks 23rd in completion percentage (64.4) … Dylan Weigel, Kevin Ferguson (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Daren Ardis rank 29th in fumbles recovered (1). 


VMI (2-2, 0-1) suffered a 33-30 overtime loss at home to Mercer last weekend … The Keydets had won back-to-back games prior to the Mercer loss as VMI picked up road wins at Morehead State (17-13) and Bucknell (23-17) … VMI opened the season with a 47-24 loss at Akron. 

Overall, VMI is being outscored 27.5 to 23.5 in its four games, while opponents are out-gaining the Keydets, 447.8 to 387.8 … VMI is averaging 273 yards passing and 115 yards rushing per game. 

As a team, VMI ranks eighth in the FCS in few penalties (19) and fumbles lost (1), 19th in completion percentage (64.9), 21st in passing offense (273.0) and in turnovers lost (5). 

Quarterback Al Cobb ranks sixth among FCS players in completions per game (26.75), 19th in completion percentage (65.2), 25th in passing yards per game (250.0) and 33rd in passing yards (1,000) … Wide Receiver Aaron Sanders ranks fourth in FCS in receptions per game (9.5), while red-shirt junior inside linebacker Ryan Francis ranks second in solo tackles (7.3), seventh in sacks (1.00), 13th in total tackles (10.8) and 18th in tackles for loss (1.9) 

Al Cobb – a first team preseason Southern Conference selection – has passed for 1,000 yards and five touchdowns … He’s completing 65.2 percent of his passes – 107-for-164 and has thrown three interceptions. 

Of his 107 completions, receivers Aaron Sanders (senior) and Dane Forlines (senior) and tight end Ryan Swingle (red-shirt junior) have accounted for 74 of them … Sanders leads the team in receptions (38) and receiving yards (309), while Forlines has 22 catches for 266 yards and Swingle has 14 catches for 147 yards and three touchdowns. 

VMI’s last two games went to overtime – including the triple-overtime win at Bucknell two weeks ago. 


ETSU leads the all-time series, 13-8, and the Bucs have won seven straight and nine of the last 10 meetings. 

This marks the 12th game played in Lexington, and VMI holds a 6-5 advantage in the previous 11 games. 

ETSU’s longest win streak in the series is its current seven-game streak, which started with a 38-0 win in 1996, while VMI’s longest run is a four-game stretch from 1979-85. 

The Bucs’ largest win all-time against VMI was that 38-0 victory back in 1996. 


The last time ETSU and VMI met on the gridiron was on Sept. 21, 2002, when the Bucs defeated the Keydets, 35-21, inside Memorial Center … Gaven Varner rushed for 128 yards (15 carries) and scored three first-half touchdowns, while Scott Carter (ETSU’s current Senior Associate Athletic Director/COO) had 12 carries for 41 yards and Mike Rader (ETSU’s current wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator) totaled six receptions for 42 yards … Quarterback Jatavis Sanders finished 20-of-31 passing for 213 yards and also totaled 57 rushing yards … The Bucs led 28-0 at halftime, and in the end, totaled 488 yards of total offense (275 rushing/213 passing) … Safety Montreal Harkley led the ETSU defense with two interceptions and seven tackles … Gerald Sensabaugh also added six tackles. 

In 1994, Jeff Johnson set ETSU single-game records for receptions and receiving yards in the 31-21 win over the Keydets in Johnson City … Johnson finished with 16 catches for 239 yards and three touchdowns in the win … Johnson’s three touchdowns are tied for second-most in single-game history … Quarterback Greg Ryan was 27-of-42 with 320 yards in that win – The 320 passing yards rank sixth, while the 42 pass attempts are tied for sixth and the 27 completions rank eighth in single-game history. 

Wide receivers Greg Johnson and B.J. Adigun also had stellar games against the Keydets … Johnson finished with 10 receptions in the 38-0 win back in 1996, which is tied for eighth in ETSU history … Adigun – who was just inducted into the ETSU Hall of Fame in 2016 and was named SoCon Male Athlete of the Year in 1998 – recorded 172 receiving yards in the 17-7 win in Lexington in 1997 … The 172 receiving yards are the fifth-most by a Buccaneer player in single game history. 

Quarterback Todd Wells’ 346 yards of total offense in the 38-3 win in 2000 ranks fourth all-time by a Buccaneer… Jim Kantowski’s 73-yard punt return in 1991 marked the seventh-longest return by a Buccaneer. 


Fans can listen to the radio call on WXSM-AM 640 The Extreme Sports Monster or on 104.9 NASH Icon as “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos will carry the play-by-play and former Buccaneer quarterback Matt Wilhjelm as the color analyst. 

The Buccaneer Sports Network will launch its pregame broadcast one hour and 30 minutes prior to kickoff with the 30-minute long Eastman Credit Union Tailgate Show, followed by the Carl Torbush Pregame Show powered by Ford which will lead up to 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The First Tennessee Bank Countdown to Kickoff will then lead into the final moments before kickoff. An audio stream will be available via ETSUBucs.com or by clicking here.   

Saturday’s game will also be video broadcast live on ESPN3. Click here for live video.  

In addition to following the Bucs on your mobile device and/or tablet with live audio and video, fans can get up to the minute stats by following the action via StatBroadcast. Fans can access live stats on their computers or mobile devices via VMIKeydets.com or by clicking here 


For complete information on ETSU Football, follow the program via social media on Twitter (@ETSUFootball), Instagram (@ETSUFootball), Snapchat (@ETSUFootball) and on Facebook (ETSU Buccaneer Football).   

ETSU fans wanting to receive Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today! 


The Bucs return home for back-to-back games at Kermit Tipton Stadium, beginning Saturday, Oct. 15 when ETSU hosts Furman … Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. 

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