April 03, 20211st2nd3rd4thFinal
1st Quarter
VMITD10:29Seth Morgan 2 Yd Run (Jerry Rice kick)
VMIFG04:07Jerry Rice 27 Yd
ETSUTD00:21Quay Holmes 1 Yd Run (Tyler Keltner kick)
2nd Quarter
VMIFG09:25Jerry Rice 20 Yd
ETSUFG00:06Tyler Keltner 27 Yd
3rd Quarter
ETSUTD10:59Will Huzzie 9 Yd Pass From Brock Landis (Tyler Keltner kick)
VMITD01:58Grant Swinehart 3 Yd Run (Jerry Rice kick)
4th Quarter
ETSUTD12:36Quay Holmes 4 Yd Run (Tyler Keltner kick)
Stats at a GlanceETSUVMI
1st Downs1924
3rd Down Conversions5-137-14
4th Down Conversions2-30-1
Passing (Comp-Att)148 (11-27) 315 (36-46)
Rushing (Att)127 (42) 67 (29)
Total Yards275382
Fumbles Lost01
Bucs Silence Keydets in Marquee Win
Bucs Silence Keydets in Marquee Win
Saturday, April 3, 2021

ETSU keeps playoff hopes alive with critical victory

LEXINGTON, Va. (April 3, 2021) – It was another dramatic finish for the Buccaneers as ETSU pulled off yet another one-possession victory. ETSU went on the road to defeat previously undefeated VMI, capturing the 24-20 upset over the Keydets at Foster Stadium. With the win, ETSU improves to 4-1, while the 10th-ranked Keydets fall to 5-1.

ETSU’s defense continues to prove the notion of “defense wins championships” as the Bucs held a very-potent VMI offense to just 20 points, nearly 12 points below the season average. Despite spotting the Keydets the 10-0 lead, ETSU was able to overcome the deficit by limiting the passing threat and shutting down the run game.

The Bucs’ offense woke up following the 10-point deficit, outscoring the Keydets 10-3 down the stretch to end the opening half with a three-point deficit.

For the second consecutive week, offense was harder to come by in the second half. VMI corralled just 149 yards offense in the second half, while ETSU mustered 117 yards of offense in the final 30 minutes. However, the important factor in the second half was the score, with the Bucs outscoring VMI 14-7 to march out of Lexington with the four-point win. ETSU’s offense was highlighted by Quay Holmes (Powder Springs, Ga.) who put together another 100-yard rushing performance, finishing the game with 135 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns.

Before the clock struck zero, drama ensued on the final VMI drive with the Keydets taking over on their own 33-yard line. After picking up two first downs and getting into ETSU territory, the Buccaneer defense buckled down and rattled the VMI offense. The Keydets faced a 4th-and-5 and completed a five-yard slant pass from Seth Morgan to Jakob Herres. However, Tyree Robinson (Gainesville, Ga.) delivered a punishing hit to Herres, jarring the ball loose as Karon Delince (Phenix City, Ala.) recovered the ball and was off to the races. A block in the back penalty negated an ETSU touchdown, but it was a moot point with the Bucs taking four plays to run the clock down.

First Quarter

  • VMI 7, ETSU 0: The Keydets marched down the field in the first drive of the game, going 10 plays for 78 yards, capped off by a two-yard rush by quarterback Seth Morgan.
  • VMI 10, ETSU 0: VMI added to its lead on its next drive, taking nine plays to travel 59 yards down the field. The drive was capped off by a 27-yard field goal from Keydet kicker, Jerry Rice.
  • VMI 10, ETSU 7: ETSU retaliated with a 9-play, 70-yard drive for its first score of the game. The drive concluded with a somersault dive from Holmes as he leapt over the pile for his seventh touchdown of the season.

Second Quarter

  • VMI 13, ETSU 7: The Keydets settled for a field goal on their third drive of the contest as the Buccaneer defense held strong to keep it a one score game. Rice knocked in the 20-yard field goal to give VMI its six-point lead.
  • VMI 13, ETSU 10: The Bucs cut the deficit back to just three points right before the first half concluded thanks to Tyler Keltner’s fifth field goal of the season, a 27-yard chip shot.

Third Quarter

  • ETSU 17, VMI 13: ETSU took its first lead of the game quickly to start the second half thanks to a nine-yard touchdown connection between Landis and Huzzie. The touchdown was set up by a kick return to the VMI 47-yard line, fumbled and then returned to the VMI 31-yard line.
  • VMI 20, ETSU 17: The Keydets regained the lead late in the third quarter with Grant Swinehart punching in a three-yard touchdown, capping an 80-yard drive.

Fourth Quarter

  • ETSU 24, VMI 20: The Bucs took the lead again in the back-and-forth affair, this time to start the fourth quarter. Holmes punched in his second rushing touchdown of the game, a four-yard strike, capping off a 9-play, 69-yard drive.


  • In his second collegiate start, Brock Landis (Hoschton, Ga.) improved to 2-0 after completing 11-of-27 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown.
  • Landis’ touchdown pass to Will Huzzie (Duluth, Ga.) was his first FCS touchdown throw in his career.
  • Huzzie finished the game with five receptions for 83 yards.
  • The Bucs finished 2-for-3 in fourth-down conversions in Lexington after starting the season 0-for-4.
  • Garrett Taylor (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) connected for a career-high 61-yard punt in the second quarter, downing the Keydets at their own two-yard line.
  • VMI scored on its first three drives of the game, collecting just 13 points as the Bucs held the Keydets to two field goals…The Keydets scored on just one of the final six drives.
  • Alijah Huzzie (Franklin, Ga.) led the defense with a career-high 13 tackles (10 solo) – he also hauled in his third interception of the season.
  • Donovan Manuel (Ellenwood, Ga.) also notched a career high in tackles with 10.
  • ETSU won the turnover battle in Lexington, 2-1, coming away with one interception and one fumble recovery.
  • VMI’s quarterback Seth Foster started the game 11-for-11 in the air, finishing the game 36-of-46 with 315 yards and one interception.
  • The Bucs held VMI to just 67 yards rushing, the third time that ETSU has held opponent for less than 100 yards on the ground this season.
  • The one-possession game marked the 10th consecutive FCS one-possession contest…The Bucs are 5-5 in those contests (4-1 this spring).
  • ETSU improves to 3-11 against Top 25 opponents since the return of football.
  • With the win, the Bucs improved to 16-10 overall against VMI, winning 13 of the last 16 meetings – ETSU improves to 7-7 in Lexington, Va.

ETSU will hit the road for the second consecutive week as the Bucs close out the spring 2021 regular-season road schedule with a 6 p.m. contest against Mercer. The final road SoCon battle of the season for the Bucs will be played at Five Star Stadium in Macon, Ga.

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