Football hangs on to down conference rival Millsaps, 16-14

Football hangs on to down conference rival Millsaps, 16-14

JACKSON, Miss.—After three straight scores, the Birmingham-Southern football team held off a late-game Millsaps rally to pick up a 16-14 conference victory, Saturday afternoon on Harper Davis Field in Jackson, Miss.

The Panthers move to 2-5 overall and 2-1 in the Southern Athletic Association; the Majors fall to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the SAA.

Millsaps got on the board first, scoring on a short pass at the 10:40 mark of the first quarter to go up 7-0. BSC responded at the 6:32 mark of the second quarter with a 10-yard pass from freshman quarterback Mickey Courtney to junior Daniel Lopera, but missed the extra point and trailed 7-6. The Panthers pulled ahead with just 11 seconds left in the half, though, as junior kicker Hagen Mancuso hit a 35-yard field goal to put his team up 9-7.

BSC scored its last points of the game at the 3:20 mark of the third quarter on a 13-yard rush by senior tailback Joe Moultrie, and Mancuso's extra point was good, putting the Panthers up 16-7. BSC held onto the nine-point lead until late in the fourth quarter, when Courtney was sacked causing him to fumble the ball. Millsaps scooped up the loose ball and returned it 73 yards for a touchdown, cutting the Panthers' lead to 16-14 with 3:30 left to play.

Millsaps had the ball again for the last drive of the game with eight seconds remaining to play, but the Panthers forced a turnover to effectively end the game and come away with the two-point victory.

Courtney was 14-23 with 128 yards and one touchdown, Moultrie had 101 yards on 30 carries with one touchdown, and senior Sam Vermilyea led the receivers with 57 yards on seven catches. Lopera ended up with 33 total yards on two receptions. Senior Austin Hansard led the BSC defense with eight tackles (6 solo) including three tackles-for-loss. His brother, senior Wesley Hansard, had 1.5 sacks, and senior Devante Smith had two pass break-ups.

The Panthers return home next weekend to host Berry College, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. on Battle Field at Panther Stadium.