Spartanburg, S.C. - Redshirt freshman tailback Donnavan Spencer scored an equalizing touchdown on a toss sweep with three minutes remaining in regulation to ultimately force overtime for No. 22 Western Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium.
However, fifth-ranked Wofford scored on their second play of the extra session before sealing the win with a third interception - the second by George Gbesee - this one coming in the end zone as the Terriers held off upset-minded WCU, 35-28.
Spencer capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive with a one-yard plunge around the right end with the Will Horton extra point knotting the game at 28 in the closing minutes of regulation. On the ensuing possession, Wofford moved down the field, but the ball-control offense stalled with a fourth-down pass play as time expired falling incomplete.
In overtime, running back Andre Stoddard scored his second rushing TD of the game, finding the end zone from three yards out to push the Terriers ahead for the third-time in the game. The Catamount offense suffered a loss on the first play on its turn with the football before Tyrie Adams moved back into position with an 11-yard run. But on the next play, Adams' pass intended for Terryon Robinson was corralled by Gbesee as he undercut the route to end the game.
Adams finished 17-for-26 for 195 yards with two touchdown passes to Robinson and Jordan Mathis, while adding a team-high 76 yards rushing and a scoring rush. Robinson, who became WCU's all-time career receptions leader on Saturday, caught five passes for 92 yards with classmate Steffon Hill matching with five catches for 52 yards. Mathis finished with three receptions for 23 yards and a score.
Senior RB Detrez Newsome returned to the lineup for Western Carolina, rushing 13 times for 69 total yards with one reception for a yard. Newsome did not drop back on kickoff returns, finishing with 70 all-purpose yards to snap his string of 18-consecutive games of 100-or-more all-purpose yards.
Wofford (5-0, 3-0 SoCon) rushed for 393 total yards, using the ground game to consume over 36 minutes of the clock in time of possession. Stoddard led the way with 157 yards on the ground including two of the four rushing scores, while Lennox McAfee and Blake Morgan finished with 88 and 86 yards rushing, respectively.
Neither squad was able to pull away from the other in the see-saw battle. Adams found Robinson on a 38-yard touchdown strike to give the Catamounts a game-high eight-point, 21-13, lead midway through the third quarter. Wofford answered, though, before the end of the frame, adding a Morgan two-point conversion to knot the game at 21 at the time.
Defensively, Marvin Tillman and Tahjai Watt paced five Catamounts with double-digit tackles on Saturday with 13 apiece with Tillman forcing and recovering a second quarter fumble that set-up Adams' touchdown rush. A.J. Newman and Daniel Riddle recorded 11 tackles apiece, while linebacker Kendall White finished with 10 stops.
Western Carolina (4-2, 2-1 SoCon) returns home next Saturday, Oct. 14, to host mountain-rival, ETSU, at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field in Cullowhee. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 pm.