ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.- The NC Wesleyan football team dropped their USA South game to Averett University 24-14 in a battle of conference unbeatens on Saturday evening inside Rocky Mount Athletic Stadium.
Averett got off to a quick start scoring 8 minutes into the game on a short one-yard touchdown run. The Cougars then extended their lead to 14-0 going 50 yards on a quick drive midway through the second quarter.
NC Wesleyan then broke Averett's momentum late in the first half as the defense stepped up huge with a big defensive play. With less than 20 seconds to play, junior Defensive tackle R.J. Smalls sacked Averett's QB forcing a fumble that junior linebacker Antonio Johnson picked up and ran 59 yards for a huge Bishop touchdown cutting their deficit down to 7 going into the half. This is Johnson's second straight week with a defensive touchdown. Johnson also finished with 6 tackles on the day while fellow linebackers, Christian Shaw and JT Lichtenberger, led the team with 7 apiece. Wesleyan also finished with 12 more tackles in the game than the Cougars.
Averett (4-1, 3-0) then added a field goal in the third quarter to go up 17-7 before adding their final touchdown in the beginning of the fourth quarter to increase their advantage to 17.
Wesleyan then came back as senior Quinn Tobias recovered a fumbled punt that Averett dropped at their own 30 halfway through the fourth quarter. The Battling Bishops then punched in the touchdown as junior QB Donielle Totten threw a 6 yard touchdown pass to junior Tight End Ben Dorfman to trim their deficit to 10.
Totten would lead another drive late in the fourth as Wesleyan got to the 6 yard line looking to score again before he threw an interception which Averett would use to run out the clock to clinch the game.
NCWC falls to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference and will now head back on the road to face new conference foe Brevard College (N.C.) next Saturday at 1:00 p.m.