110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
posted Sep 26, 2013 - 10:45:54am
BEACON PHOTO/ALEXIS ALDAMUY
It was a close game Saturday, Sept. 21, when the Stetson University Hatter football team took on Birmingham-Southern at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium in DeLand. Both teams made some big plays, and combined stacked up almost 900 yards of offense. In the end, it was Birmingham that took the 49-34 victory, furthering their perfect game record to 3-0, while Stetson fell to 1-2.
"It stinks to lose," Stetson coach Roger Hughes said at a press conference. "You can't win a ballgame when you turn the ball over eight or nine times. We couldn't stop their run game consistently, and offensively we weren't as consistent as we needed to be. There were a lot of reasons for that — penalties, dropped balls. We have to continue to work to get better."
The Hatters started the game out strong, with a touchdown by tight end Taylor Dunn, three minutes into the game. After the extra point, the Hats led 7-0. The Panthers returned with a couple of touchdowns.
The first half became a battle of power shifts and a game of up and down the field, taking turns scoring, keeping the game tied.
Stetson started out strong again in the second quarter when running back Darius Chapes ran for a touchdown, tying the score 14-14. After the Panthers missed a field goal, they were ready to start playing the game. Stetson fumbled the ball and Birmingham recovered it and ran it in for a touchdown, taking the lead 21-14.
Running back Jerami Singleton was on his game, consistently running the ball for the Hatters' first downs. After 11 plays, quarterback Ryan Tentler made a touchdown pass to Darius McGriff, tying the score again 21-21. But, the Panthers took the lead in the game 28-21 shortly before defensive back Chris Atkins intercepted Birmingham's ball and ran it in for a touchdown, tying the score one last time 28-28, the final score of the first half.
"The momentum shifted throughout the game," Stetson defensive back and Player of the Week Donald Payne said. "We had all the momentum in the first half. We thought we had them, and we may have gotten a little complacent. But we kept trying. It seemed whoever had the ball last would win the game."
The second half of the game had offensive mistakes that may have cost the Hatters the game. And with 5:23 on the clock in the third quarter, Birmingham recovered another fumble for a touchdown, leading 35-28. And Stetson was able to close the gap to 35-34 after a touchdown by Payne.
The fourth quarter started with a blocked field goal for the Hatters. Punter James LaGamma attempted a 30-yard field goal, and Birmingham recovered the blocked ball, turning it into a touchdown, foreshadowing their win with a score of 42-34. The Panthers reinforced their win with a 49-yard-pass touchdown, leaving the final score 49-34.
This game was Stetson's last preseason game before they start their conference play next Saturday in a 1 p.m. game against San Diego at Spec Martin Stadium. Tentler said they know San Diego will be the best team they have seen.
"With San Diego coming up, we will have to be on our game and not have any flaws," Payne said. "We are ready for conference play. We'll be down about this game for 24 hours, but then we know that we have to get right back to the grind to get ready for San Diego."
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