Oct. 18, 2003
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Wofford junior quarterback Jeff Zolman had 55 yards rushing and was 5-of-5 for 73 yards passing to lead the eighth-ranked Terriers to a 38-6 victory over Western Carolina Saturday afternoon at Whitmire Stadium/Waters Field.
Wofford improves to 6-1 and remains on top of the Southern Conference standings with a 4-0 start. The Terriers have won six straight, which is their best string of wins since 1991, and their first ever 4-0 start in league play. The Catamounts, who had a five-year streak of Homecoming wins snapped today, falls to 3-5, 2-3.
Wofford set the tone early, taking the opening kickoff and driving 74 yards in 11 plays for 7-0 lead. During the drive, the Terriers converted a fourth and two on their own 34 just four plays into the drive. Then, facing third and 17, got a 25-yard run by Zolman. Four plays later, and Wofford facing fourth and three, freshman Kevious Johnson scored from 35 yards out for the early lead.
After a Western punt, Wofford put together another impressive scoring drive, covering 75 yards in 14 plays. On fourth and goal from the WCU one, senior fullback J.R. McNair scored for a 14-0 advantage.
The Catamounts answered with a drive to the Wofford 32, only to have it end with a fumble. The Terriers could not take advantage and were forced to punt. However, immediately after the punt, which gave WCU the ball on the Catamount nine, a Western fumble was recovered by Wofford's Teddie Whitaker on the WCU 17. After the fumble recovery, backup Wofford quarterback Trey Rodgers had four carries for 19 yards, including the final four, to put the Terriers up 21-0 at the break.
Whitaker made a second big play for the Terriers as the third quarter began, picking off a WCU pass on its second play of the period. However, Western's defense held and the teams would trade possessions throughout the quarter. As the fourth quarter began, Wofford capped a 15-play, 52-yard drive with a 27-yard field goal by Nick Robinson, giving the Terriers a 24-0 lead.
Western answered with a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Brian Gaither
completed 9-of-11 passes on the drive, the last being a 37-yard pass to J.C. Brown
to the Wofford two. Wofford appeared to ended the threat by causing and recovering a WCU fumble, but a Terrier penalty allowed the Cats to keep possession. One play later, Michale Spicer
found his way into the endzone for a one-yard TD. Western would fail on its two-point conversion making the score 24-6. For Spicer, the rush was his first career attempt. The senior, who was tabbed the SoCon preseason Defensive Player of the Year, added five tackles, a caused fumble and a fumble recovery from his defensive end position. Spicer also had a tackle for a loss, giving him 52 for his career to pad his lead in the WCU record book in the category.
The Terriers immediately regained the momentum, using two plays to make the score 31-6. After a short loss on a rushing attempt, Rodgers, who rushed for 20 yards on seven attempts, connected with Curtis Nash for a 51-yard score. The pass was Rodgers' lone attempt of the game and Nash would finish with four catches for 104 yards.
Wofford added an insurance touchdown with just under two minutes to play. After Derek Newberry intercepted a pass and returned it 81 yards to the WCU 14, Terrence Ware had a 10-yard rushing score for the final 38-6 margin.
Joining Zolman and Rodgers as offensive leaders for Wofford were Johnson (six rushes for 44 yards), McNair (16 rushes for 323 yards) and Corey Dunn (nine rushes for 21 yards). The Terriers were led on defense by Matt Nelson's seven tackles and Jimmy Thrift, who had six. John Pressley added two sacks and forced fumble.
Offensively for the Cats, Lamont Seward moved up several spots in the WCU and Southern Conference record books with his 11-catch, 121-yard performance. Seward, a senior from Warrenton, N.C., now has 173 career receptions for 2,727 career yards. He now ranks fourth on the WCU all-time receptions and sixth on the SoCon career top 10. He additional moves to fifth on the WCU and seventh on the SoCon career receiving yards lists. Michael Reeder added six catches for 52 yards. Gaither finished with 31 completions on 49 attempts for 257 yards.
Defensively for Western, Rod Dunlap led the team in stops for the seventh consecutive game, tallying 12. Of his 12 tackles, four were for losses, giving him 42 for his career to move to fourth on the school's all-time list. Nick McNeil added nine tackles, while Ricky Rainey and Lamar Barnes each had seven stops.
Western Carolina will return to action next Saturday at Chattanooga. Kickoff is set for 6 pm. Wofford will host Appalachian State at 12:20 pm.