March 27, 20211st2nd3rd4thFinal
Western Carolina1070017
ETSU7100724
Scoring
1st Quarter
WCUTD12:00Raekwon Heath 21 Yd Pass From Ryan Glover (R. McCollum kick)
ETSUTD06:37Brock Landis 1 Yd Run (Tyler Keltner kick)
WCUFG02:37R. McCollum 45 Yd
2nd Quarter
WCUTD11:59Clayton Bardall 44 Yd Pass From Carlos Davis (R. McCollum kick)
ETSUTD09:31Quay Holmes 40 Yd Run (Tyler Keltner kick)
ETSUFG00:20Tyler Keltner 54 Yd
4th Quarter
ETSUTD12:40Quay Holmes 5 Yd Run (Tyler Keltner kick)
Stats at a GlanceWCUETSU
1st Downs1428
3rd Down Conversions6-135-10
4th Down Conversions0-10-1
Passing (Comp-Att)212 (15-24) 55 (8-16)
Rushing (Att)66 (27) 350 (54)
Total Yards278405
Penalties6-396-40
Turnovers01
Fumbles Lost01
Interceptions00
Possession24:2334:54
Bucs Battle Weather and Catamounts in Saturday Victory
Bucs Battle Weather and Catamounts in Saturday Victory
Saturday, March 27, 2021

ETSU reclaims Blue Ridge Border Battle trophy

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 27, 2021) – Neither the delayed start, the dreary weather nor the Catamount defense could slow down the Buccaneer running game as ETSU powered its way to a 24-17 victory over Western Carolina on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Bucs (3-1, 3-1) reclaim the Blue Ridge Border Battle Trophy from the claws of the Catamounts (1-8, 1-5).

The Bucs had to wait through a 90-minute delay as severe weather rolled into William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium, blanketing the turf with large chunks of hail.

Following the delay, both offenses came out firing as each squad scored on its first offensive drive. The two offenses combined for 34 points and 509 yards of total offense in the first half. The first half ended on a historical note as sophomore kicker Tyler Keltner (Tallahassee, Fla.) buried a program-record 54-yard field goal to even things up at 17 apiece.

The second half proved to be a different story as the two units collected a combined 174 yards of offense and just one touchdown. The game-winning touchdown belonged to the host squad as Quay Holmes (Powder Springs, Ga.) punched in a five-yard rush and the defense took care of the rest following another 30-minute weather delay with 12:40 remaining in the contest.

The Bucs received a huge boost in the run game as the star duo of Holmes and Jacob Saylors (Jasper, Tenn.) each eclipsed the 100-yard mark, combining for 333 yards on the ground. Holmes tallied two rushing touchdowns and finished with 197 yards on 30 carries. Meanwhile, Saylors posted a career-high 136 yards on just 15 carries. The dominant duo proved to be too much for the Western Carolina defense as the Bucs ran free to bringing the trophy back home to Johnson City, Tenn.

HOW IT HAPPENED:
First Quarter

  • WCU 7, ETSU 0: The Catamounts struck first, driving 75 yards down the field on just seven plays. Western Carolina’s Ryan Glover found Raekwon Heath for the 21-yard strike for the early seven-point lead.
  • ETSU 7, WCU 7: The Bucs evened the game at seven apiece with a scoring drive of their own in ETSU’s first offensive possession. ETSU marched 70 yards on 13 plays, its longest scoring drive in terms of plays. The drive was capped off by Landis’ 1-yard touchdown punch on the read option, his first touchdown of the season.
  • WCU 10, ETSU 7: Western Carolina capitalized on an ETSU special teams’ error, recording the fumble to regain possession in Buccaneer territory. The Bucs’ defense held the Catamounts in check, holding the visiting squad to a 45-yard field goal.

Second Quarter

  • WCU 17, ETSU 7: The Catamounts caught the Buccaneer defense by surprise, running a trick play for a 44-yard touchdown pass, extending their lead to 10.
  • WCU 17, ETSU 14: The Bucs got the run game moving on their second scoring drive, going five plays for 90 yards, all on the ground. The drive was capped off by a 40-yard touchdown rush from Holmes, his longest rushing touchdown in his career.
  • ETSU 17, WCU 17: The Bucs drew even in their final drive of the opening half as Keltner knocked in a program-record 54-yard field goal, capping off a 10-play, 52-yard drive.

Fourth Quarter

  • ETSU 24, WCU 17: ETSU took its first lead of the game with a strong 12-play, 64-yard scoring drive that was complete with another Holmes touchdown. The Georgia native punched in his sixth rushing touchdown of the season with the 5-yard scamper.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS 

  • The Bucs scored on their first possession for the first time this season, doing so on a season-long 13-play drive…The 70-yard touchdown drive was the third longest of the season.
  • The opening scoring drive is just the second opening-drive touchdown that the Bucs have scored in two seasons – first since The Citadel on Nov. 2, 2019.
  • ETSU delivered a 5-play, 90-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, marking the longest drive of the season…The drive was capped by a career-high 40-yard touchdown rush from Holmes.
  • The Bucs received a big momentum boost to end the opening half as Keltner buried a program-record 54-yard field goal to even the contest at 17-17…The previous long was 52 yards by George Cimadevilla against James Madison in 1986.
  • Jacob Saylors and Quay Holmes both rushed for over 100 yards, the first time that a pair of ETSU backs did so since Holmes and Saylors achieved the feat on Oct. 6, 2018 in a 45-0 blowout win over Gardner-Webb.
  • The Bucs rushed for 350 yards as a unit, the most since collecting 410 yards against Mercer in the home finale in 2019.
  • Brock Landis (Hoschton, Ga.) started his first FCS game, picking up the win after finishing 8-of-16 for 55 yards, while rushing eight times for 34 yards and one touchdown.
  • Jared Folks (Harrisburg, Pa.) led the defense in tackles, finishing the game with a team-best six tackles.
  • The Buccaneer defense found the formula for stopping Western Carolina’s Ryan Glover, allowing just 17 passing yards from the Penn transfer in the second half…Glover finished the game 14-of-23 for 168 yards and one touchdown pass.
  • With the win, ETSU improves to 24-25-1 all-time against the Catamounts, winning the 50th head-to-head battle…More importantly, the Bucs improve to 2-1 in Blue Ridge Border Battle contests and 13-12-1 when facing the Catamounts in Johnson City.
  • Following the win, the Bucs match their win total from a season ago, improving to 3-1 on the campaign.

NEXT GAME UP
ETSU will hit the road on Saturday, April 3 as the Bucs travel to Lexington, Va. for a showdown against a rejuvenated VMI squad. Kickoff against the Keydets will commence at 1:30 p.m.

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