Spartanburg, S.C. – Quarterback Tyrie Adams threw a career-long 69-yard touchdown pass on a toss-back reverse flea flicker on the game’s first play Saturday afternoon, connecting with freshman WR Jaylin Young for the early 7-0 lead for Western Carolina.
However, Adams was lost to a game-ending foot injury on the second offensive series and Wofford took advantage, stymieing the Catamounts on offense in limiting WCU to just 172 total yards of offense and four first downs – only one of which came after halftime – in handing the Catamounts a 59-7 setback in Southern Conference action from Gibbs Stadium.
Three Terriers eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark and combined for five touchdowns – two by quarterback Joe Newman who added 162 passing yards on seven completions including a pair of scores as Wofford claimed its fourth-straight victory over WCU in the head-to-head series. Newman rushed for 104 yards, third in line behind Irvin Mulligan (106 yards) and Jacquez Allen (105 yards) for the Terriers.
Adams finished just 1-for-2 passing in the limited playing time, tossing the 69-yard score – his 59th career touchdown pass and the 76th score he’s accounted for during his career. He was spelled by back-up Will Jones who completed 9-of-16 passes for just 39 yards while true freshman Malik Richardson saw his first career action in the loss.
Reserve running back Caleb Ferguson paced the Catamounts with 30 rushing yards on six carries while Connell Young – who also left the game with a lower body injury – rushing three times for 20 yards. All told, the Catamounts managed just 64 rushing yards on the SoCon’s top rushing defense.
Following the quick-strike touchdown from Adams to Young – who recorded just the third reception of his collegiate career with his second TD catch – the Catamount defense forced a three-and-out on Wofford’s opening possession, forcing a punt. During the ensuing possession, Adams suffered a foot injury as WCU was held to a three-and-out and the St. Petersburg, Fla., native spent the remainder of the first quarter on the training table.
Wofford managed an eight-play, 83-yard game-tying score the next time it touched the football making it 7-7 with just under 11 minutes remaining in the opening frame. Neither team could managed to find pay-dirt the remainder of the first quarter, heading to the second tied at seven apiece.
The Terriers seized control of the see-saw affair early in the second quarter, though, as D’mauriae VanCleave returned a 40-yard Caleb Ferguson line-drive punt 87 yards for a touchdown. On Wofford’s next possession, Newman went up top for a quick strike, finding VanCleave for a 67-yard touchdown pass and the home squad never looked back.
All told, Wofford scored touchdowns on eight of its 14 possessions in the game while also tacking on a season-long 43-yard Luke Carter field goal in the fourth quarter. WCU’s defense managed to force four Terrier punts and a missed field goal attempt on the opening possession of the second half.
Junior linebacker Ty Harris paced the Catamount defense, which was on the field for 62 offensive plays on a soggy and cold Saturday, with a game-high eight tackles. Spartanburg native Michael Murphy and defensive backs John Brannon and A.J. Rogers were each credited with six stops apiece, Brannon adding a pass break-up on a throw into the end zone. WCU finished with three tackles for loss with linemen K.J. Milner and Jarquavius Wortham as well as linebacker Jayden Pauling each posting a TFL.
Wofford fumbled three times on Saturday, but was able to recover each time the football hit the damp natural grass service at Gibbs Stadium / Mike Ayers Field.
Western Carolina (1-6, 0-4 SoCon) returns home next Saturday, Oct. 26 to host the Furman Paladins (4-3, 3-1 SoCon) in Cullowhee for Homecoming 2019. Kickoff from E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field is 3:30 pm. Tickets for next Saturday’s game – and each of WCU’s remaining three home games – are on sale now through the Catamount ticket office and online at CatamountSports.com.