Football falls to Stetson at home, 37-19

Michael Cowan (photo by Cari Dean)
Michael Cowan (photo by Cari Dean)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern football team dropped to 0-3 on the season with a home loss to Stetson University (2-2), 37-19, Saturday afternoon on Battle Field at Panther Stadium.

It was the second meeting between the school after BSC won last year in Deland, Fla., 49-34. The 0-3 start is the worst for the Panthers since 2007 when the program was reinstated after a 68-year hiatus; BSC dropped the first six games that year and ended at 1-7.

The Panthers scored the first points of the game late in the first quarter when sophomore quarterback Austin Martin completed a 14-yard pass to senior wide receiver Michael Cowan. BSC missed the extra point, however, and the Hatters found the end zone on the next drive when quarterback Ryan Tentler connected with receiver Craig Carrington on a 21-yard pass. Steton hit the extra point to take a 7-6 lead with 3:25 left in the first.

The Hatters scored another touchdown at the 12:24 mark of the second quarter on a five-yard run by Jerami Singleton, pulling up 14-6. BSC got the ball and it took only one play for the Panthers to score, as Cowan scored on an 75-yard completion from freshman quarterback Mickey Courtney. BSC tried for the two-point conversion to tie the game, but Courtney's pass was intercepted in the end zone by Ryan Powers, who returned the ball the length of the field to give Stetson two more points and put the Hatters up 16-12.

It was the second time this season that BSC has had an point-after-touchdown attempt thwarted and returned by the opposing team for two points, after an extra-point kick was blocked and returned in the game at Huntingdon last weekend in Montgomery.

The lead went back to the Panthers late in the second quarter when senior Joe Moultrie rushed for 39 yards and his first touchdown of the year. The extra point kick was good by junior Hagen Mancuso to put BSC up 19-16. It was short-lived, though, with the Hatters responding on the ensuing drive to score on another Singleton rush, putting them up 23-19 before the end of the half.

Stetson held BSC scoreless for the entire second half, and was able to score twice more in the fourth quarter (eight-yard rush by Singleton and three-yard rush by Cole Mazza), putting the final score at 37-19.

Moultrie led the Panthers on the ground with 82 yards, while Cowan had 113 yards receiving on six catches with two touchdowns. Courtney was 9-18 for 119 yards and one touchdown, and Martin was 4-10 with one interception for 56 yards and one touchdown.

Tentler was 13-28 for Stetson, with 133 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions (courtesy of seniors Ty Keenum and LaPrintence Gunn). Mazza led the Hatters with 131 yards on 20 carries with one touchdown, and Kegan Moore led with 50 yards on two catches.

On defense, Gunn led the Panthers with eight tackles, all unassisted, and junior A.J. Ford made two pass break-ups. For Stetson, Donald Payne had 13 tackles (12 solo), including three tackles-for-loss. He also had the Hatters' one interception in the game as well as a forced fumble.

Stetson recorded 479 yards of total offense as compared to BSC's 296, and also had more first downs (20-16). The Hatters were also 7-of-14 on third-down conversions while the Panthers were 4-of-15.

BSC is on the road next weekend, opening Southern Athletic Association play against Hendrix on Saturday, Sept. 27, at 1 p.m. in Conway, Ark.