Sept. 21, 2013
Western Carolina 30, Mars Hill 23
E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field
Cullowhee, N.C. - Saturday, September 21, 2013
With the Win...
- Western Carolina halted its 13-game losing skid which dated back to last year's, season-opening win over Mars Hill ... the streak was the longest in all of NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) football after Rhode Island snapped it's 15-game drought with an overtime win over Albany last week, while also ranking as the third longest at the NCAA Division I level;
- WCU also ended a five-game winless drought in games played at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field;
- The Catamounts claimed their 15th-straight victory in the all-time series with the NCAA Division II Mars Hill Lions, improving to 15-5-1 in the all-time series which dates back to 1931 ... WCU has won all 11 series meetings played at Whitmire Stadium;
- Western Carolina has matched its seasonal win totals from both the 2011 and 2012 seasons;
- WCU second-year head coach Mark Speir earned his second career victory at the helm in Cullowhee.
- Western Carolina had FIVE true freshmen in the starting lineup on Saturday afternoon including two making their first career start - WR #5 Willie Police on offense and DT #90 Kelvin Ume on defense ... Those two flanked first-year starters WR #16 Terryon Robinson, LB #22 Bryson Jordan and first-year corner, #26 Trey Morgan;
- Western Carolina scored its first points of the first quarter this season, matching a season-long with a 14-play, 61-yard drive capped by a Richard Sigmon field goal ... On the drive, WCU QB Troy Mitchell was 5-of-7 passing and the Catamounts converted their first, fourth down of the season on a fourth-and-short situation ... WCU scored 10 first quarter points while pitching a shutout through the opening quarter for the first time this season;
- For the first time this year, Western Carolina WON the turnover battle in the win over Mars Hill, taking away a pair of fumbles without giving the ball up on the day ... Redshirt senior defensive tackle Andre Shishkin jarred the football loose on a sack and was able to corral the ball while on the ground for one takeaway ... Sophomore corner Jaleel Lorquet was able to fall on a loose football in the first quarter inside the Lions' five-yard line to set up WCU's first touchdown of the game;
- Sophomore QB Troy Mitchell's 350 yard passing performance is the best for a Catamount quarterback since Justin Clark threw for 350 against Chattanooga in 2004 ... Mitchell ranks tied with Clark for 10th in the program's top passing performances;
- All told, Mitchell accounted for 414 yards of total offense (350 passing, 64 rushing), the FIFTH-best single-game performance by a Catamount all-time - and best since 2007 when Adam Hearns accounted for 383 yards against Elon;
- Benson is just the FIFTH different Catamount receiver to record a 200-yard receiving game at WCU and the first since Eddie Cohen racked up 212 yards at Georgia Southern on Sept. 29, 2007 ... Benson's 212 receiving yards rank tied for third with Cohen on the program's all-time list, behind Jon Reed (235 vs. Appalachian State in 1989) and Craig Aiken (232 vs. The Citadel in 1992) with Jerry Gaines (209 vs. Florida A&M in 1973) rounding out the list;
- WCU senior linebacker Courtland Carson recorded his third-straight game with double-digit tackles, finishing with a game-high 14 total hits on Saturday including five solo stops.
Career Numbers Update:
- Junior RB Shaun Warren collected his eighth career rushing touchdown in the first half, converting a Mars Hill turnover inside their own five-yard line with a one-yard plunge ... Five of Warren's eight rushing scores have come against Mars Hill as he recorded four rushing TDs in the 2011 meeting as a true freshman;
- Senior punter Clark Sechrest matched his career-long punt of 58 yards just before the end of the first half ... Sechrest's first long punt of 58 yards came at home against Chattanooga in 2012;
- Mitchell set career highs with 35 total pass attempts for a combined 350 passing yards, surpassing his previous career-best of 176 set in 2012 against Chattanooga ... He also tallied a career-long touchdown pass with an 80-yard hook-up with junior Karnorris Benson who tallied his career-long reception;
- Junior Karnorris Benson set career highs in three categories on Saturday afternoon, hauling in nine catches for 212 yards and three touchdowns ... Benson now has six career TD receptions, five coming this year alone.
- Western Carolina's team captains for Saturday afternoon's game were: redshirt junior defensive back #28 Ace Clark; senior punter #38 Clark Sechrest; senior offensive lineman #52 Quevalas Murray; and senior offensive lineman #72 Vince Williams ... Western Carolina won the opening coin toss and elected to take the football;