Oct. 15, 2017

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Post-Game Notes
#25/21 Western Carolina 49, ETSU 10
E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field
Cullowhee, NC -- Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017
Att: 8,300

With the Win...
- The Catamounts have won four four-straight games at home including all three this year and the home finale of the 2016 season;
- WCU won for the first time as a nationally-ranked team since 1994 -- a 33-7 win at VMI while ranked No. 21 ... the win snapped a seven-game winless drought while ranked;
- WCU scored its 21st victory all-time as a nationally-ranked team -- and the 14th such victory at home in Cullowhee;
- WCU head coach Mark Speir scored his 24th career victory in Cullowhee, moving him past former head coach Bill Bleil (23, 1997-2001) into fifth in the program history.

Post-Game Notes:
- Catamount redshirt freshman RB Donnavan Spencer rushed for a career-high 139 yards along with his first multiple touchdown game coming on a career-high 21 carries ... Spencer entered the game with 20 total carries on the year for just 58 yards and a pair of TDs;

- Spencer scored on a one-yard run in the second quarter to give the Catamounts the 7-3 lead, and then scampered 41 yards for a third quarter touchdown to put WCU up 21-3 ... His third TD was a 6-yard run at 8:55 left in the fourth quarter to make the score 35-10 before capping scoring with a 19-yard rush to provide the final tally;

- Spencer's efforts matched a pair of school records on Saturday: his three second half touchdown rushes tied the school record, the 10th time in school history most recently accomplished by Darius Ramsey vs. Brevard in 2014 ... Spencer's four rushing scores in the game match the benchmark accomplished three times prior - Shaun Warren (4 vs. Mars Hill, 2011); Brad Hoover (4 vs VI, 1998); and David Mayfield (vs. ETSU, 1986);

- It is a second-straight year that a WCU running back scored four touchdowns against ETSU ... Detrez Newsome, who was inactive on Saturday, scored two rushing and two receiving TDs a year ago against the Bucs in the meeting held at the Bristol Motor Speedway;

- Three different running backs -- Spencer, Corey Holloway (16-for-119 vs. Davidson; 14-for-105 at Chattanooga) and Detrez Newsome (15-for-288 vs. Davidson; 16-for-146 at Gardner-Webb) -- have rushed for 100 yards for WCU in a game this season ... Combined, four Catamounts have eclipsed the century mark on the ground as QB Tyrie Adams has a pair of 100+ yard games this season, too (23-for-107 at Hawai'i; 20-for-152 vs. Samford);

- QB Tyrie Adams continued his streak of tossing at least one touchdown in each game this season, connecting with TE Owen Cosenke from three yards out for a third quarter TD ... Adams completed 14-of-27 passes for a season-low 83 yards on the day ... It was a single-game career-low for Adams with his previous career passing low of 90 yards against The Citadel on Oct. 1, 2016;

- Sophomore DB John Brannon III posted the first two interceptions of his career on Saturday ... He is the second Catamount to record two INTS in a single game this year, joining Shamon Elliott who had a pair of interceptions in the home win over Davidson ... It was the third-time this season that WCU had a two interception day this season (at Hawai'i, vs. Davidson);

- Brannon returned his first interception 44 yards for a touchdown at 39 seconds of the third quarter for a 28-3 WCU lead ... It was the first time a Catamount returned an interception for a touchdown since Fred Payne did so at Samford on Oct. 22, 2016 (42 yards) ... Brannon returned his second interception in the fourth quarter 56 yards to set up a Catamount touchdown;

- Senior outside linebacker Tahjai Watt had two sacks and senior outside linebacker Kendall White added one sack to bring the total for the year to 10 for the Catamounts defense eclipsing last year's seasonal total of nine total sacks ... White also knocked down a pass while rushing the quarterback on third down in the third quarter;

- A.J. Newman finished with nine tackles while Marvin Tillman had eight to lead the Catamounts;

- Redshirt junior punter Ian Berryman was slightly above his seasonal 45.2 yards per punt average with 47.8 on six punts on the day ... He also kicked off five times including the one muffed kickoff where WCU recovered the fumble;

- Jacquez Williams and the WCU punt team blocked an ETSU punt in Saturday's win ... It was the first blocked punt by WCU since K.P. Hicks deflected a punt attempt against Brevard back on Sept. 6, 2014;

- WCU didn't score in the 1st quarter for the first time since the opening game against Hawai'I ... Entering the game the Catamounts had outscored opponents 62-17 in the 1st quarter ... WCU outscored ETSU 7-0 in the second quarter giving the Catamounts 80 points in the second quarter ... WCU has outscored its opponents 142-to-78 in the first half;

- Western Carolina roared to life in the second half, scoring 21 points in both the third and fourth quarter for 42 points after intermission ... It was the second time this season that WCU has scored 40-or-more points in a half, tallying 49 points in the first half in the home-opener against Davidson.

Miscellaneous Notes:
- Western Carolina's team captains for Saturday afternoon's game were: senior RB #21 Detrez Newsome, senior DB #35 Keion Crossen, redshirt senior LB #58 Daniel Riddle, redshirt senior OL #68 Tanner Poindexter, and junior P #83 Ian Berryman ... Western Carolina won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kick;

- For a four-consecutive year, WCU celebrated the culture and heritage of the people of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) with a special log on their helmets -- though this year, the logo was smaller and on the back where as in the first three years of the celebration, the team wore the logo on one side of its helmet, opposite the official school logo;

- Wounded veteran Ward Taft and his service dog carried the American flag to lead WCU on the field prior to the game stemming from Coach Mark Speir's work with "Operation Heal Our Patriots" ... Senior wide receiver Terryon Robinson carried the "All You Got" flag to lead the team on the field.