Western Carolina 20, North Greenville 17
E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field
Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019
With the Win …
- WCU halts a 10-game losing skid that dated back to last season, giving WCU its first win since Sept. 22, 2018 – a 52-50 win over VMI in Cullowhee;
- WCU scored its first victory over North Greenville in the head-to-head series – and the eighth straight against non-NCAA Division I opponents dating back to 2010, improving to 29-2 since making the move to D-I:
- Gives head coach Mark Speir his 30th career win in Cullowhee making him just the fifth WCU head coach to win 30-or-more games.
- Making just his second collegiate start, redshirt sophomore quarterback Will Jones set a career high for pass completions with 27 … Jones finished 27-of-37 in the win, just missing his career-best for passing yards with 207 vs. the Crusaders – his career-high is 210 set at Samford last season;
- Jones scored his second career rushing touchdown, plowing in from six yards out at 5:42 of the third quarter to give the Catamounts the lead 13-10 … the touchdown was the first for the Catamounts over the six previous quarters of football;
- Redshirt junior WR Daquan Patten hauled in a career-high 12 receptions … It was just the second, double-digit reception outing for WCU over the past two seasons – Nate Mullen had … Patten’s 12 catches were also the most since Terryon Robinson matched a school record with 15 catches back in 2016 … Patten racked up a career-best 219 all-purpose yards in Saturday evening’s victory … the Columbia, S.C., native posted 82 receiving yards, 80 on three kickoff returns and 57 yards on a trio of punt returns;
- Redshirt freshman PK Richard McCollum connected on a pair of first half field goals, the first of his collegiate career … the Sanford, N.C., native capped WCU’s game-opening drive with a 25 yard field goal before bouncing one over the cross bar on a career-long 33-yard attempt at the end of the first half … McCollum and the field goal unit did have a 41-yard attempt blocked by NGU midway through the second quarter;
- Jones went 5-for-5 passing on the first drive of the game that led the field goal by McCollum and the first points of the contest ... the 25-yard field goal marked the first time this season that WCU has scored on the opening drive;
- WCU redshirt freshman Clayton Bardall not only hauled in his first career reception, but it also represented his first career touchdown pass in the fourth quarter with 5:04 left to give WCU a 20-17 advantage;
- The Catamount defense held the visiting Crusaders without a point in the first quarter ... It was the second time the season the opposing team didn’t score in a quarter ... previously, Mercer was held off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter;
- Junior LB Trevor Childers led WCU with a career-high 11 tackles, the second time this season he has led the team in tackles, both coming with double-digit tallies … Childers also had 10 tackles in the season-opener against Mercer;
- North Greenville Crusaders Harold Hilton’s 72-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter was the first punt returned for a touchdown against the Catamounts since Alvin Kamara of Tennessee returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown on Sept. 19, 2015.
- North Greenville won the toss to start the contest and elected to defer to the second half.
- Saturday’s game was delayed 2.5 hours due to lightning delays … Kickoff was bumped from from a 3:30 pm to a 6:00 pm start;
- Mr. Paxton Myers, the Chief of Staff to the Principal Chief of Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, did the coin toss to start the contest;
- After the game, WCU Chancellor Dr. Kelli R. Brown was presented a game ball in the WCU locker room honor of the team’s first victory under the new university leader.