Panthers pick up first win for Homecoming, defeat Sewanee 20-9

Samir Usman (photo by Cari Dean)
Samir Usman (photo by Cari Dean)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern football team picked up its first win of the season today, defeating Sewanee 20-9 in front of a crowd of 3,600 for Homecoming weekend.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Panthers got on the board three minutes into the second quarter on a 95-yard pass from freshman Mickey Courtney to senior Sam Vermilyea, who caught the ball and sprinted down the home sideline. It was a new record for longest pass completion and longest pass reception; the previous record was an 83-yard pass from Jimmy Stainback to to Vermilyea on Sept. 29, 2012. BSC missed the extra point, and Sewanee cut it to 6-3 just over two minutes later on a 34-yard field goal by Callum Wishart.

The Tigers took the lead with 1:07 left in the half on a seven-yard run by Devante Jones, and missed the extra point to lead 9-6.

The Panthers pulled back into the lead at the 12:11 mark of the third quarter on a two-yard dash by senior Joe Moultrie, and this time junior Hagen Mancuso's kick was on the mark, putting BSC up 13-9.

The BSC defense came up with a big stop late in the fourth quarter, stopping the Tigers on fourth and two on the BSC 25-yard line to take over possession. That turnover led directly to BSC's next score, a 33-yard rush by sophomore tailback Samir Usman with 2:51 left to play. Mancuso's extra point hit the right goal post and bounced through, putting the Panthers up 20-9. BSC held off the Sewanee offense on the next drive, clinching the victory for the first win of the season.

Courtney was 11-20 with 182 yards and one touchdown, while Moultrie had 130 yards on 22 carries and Usman had 89 yards on 11 carries. Vermilyea recorded 136 yards on five receptions.

Three Panthers led the defense with eight tackles apiece: seniors LaPrintence Gunn and Zac Phillips, and junior A.J. Ford. Gunn also had a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery, as did senior Ty Keenum. Junior Erez Kaminski also recorded both a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.

2014 Homecoming King and Queen
Michael Cowan and Kat McCain 

At halftime of today's game, BSC announced its Homecoming king and queen. Kat McCain was voted queen, and senior wide receiver Michael Cowan was crowned king.

The Panthers are on the road for the next two weeks, beginning with a trip to Lakeland, Fla., next Saturday to face Southeastern University at 1 p.m. Eastern. BSC will travel to Jackson, Miss., to take on Millsaps on Oct. 18, and then returns home Oct. 25 to host Berry College at 1 p.m.