Panthers Drop 45-38 Thriller in Home Opener Against Huntingdon

Panthers Drop 45-38 Thriller in Home Opener Against Huntingdon

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern College football team unleashed its offense in front of a record crowd of 2,800 people in Krulak Stadium Saturday night.  But they could not fend off Huntingdon College down the stretch who came from behind to win 45-38.  BSC moves to 1-1 on the year with the loss.


Kerrigan Pennington (Wagerville, Ala./Washington County HS) led the team in total offensive yards.  He finished with a game-high 250 passing yards including two touchdowns.  The senior also rushed for a team-high 144 yards and two touchdowns.


Two receivers collected over 80 yards on the day.  Damian Mitchell (Maplesville, Ala./Maplesville HS) and Jamal Watkins (Hampton, Ga./Dodge City CC) earned 86 and 82 yards, respectively.  Watkins also collected 98 return yards on special teams for a team-high 180 all-purpose yards.


Ryder Andrews (Homewood, Ala./Homewood HS) continued his stellar play in the Panthers kicking game.  He finished with a season-high eight points that included a career-long 43-yard field goal.  He also put up 92 punting yards, averaging 46 yards per kick.


Defensively, the Panthers were led by Sy Butler (Childersburg, Ala./Childersburg HS) and Cole Murphy (Gaylesville, Ala./Gaylesville HS).  The pair earned 11.5 and 11 tackles, respectively.  Murphy's including a sack for a loss of seven yards.  Matthew Byers (Pelham, Ala./John Carroll Catholic HS) was a standout in the secondary.  He broke up a game-high two passes.


BSC opened scoring with a 43-yard field goal by Andrews.  The defense then came through on a blocked punt by Tyrone Cason (Oakland, Tenn./Whitehaven HS).  Mitchell scooped it up and took it back 20 yards for the first touchdown of the night.  The Panthers took a 17-0 lead off a 31-yard touchdown catch by Buddy Dowd (Dothan, Ala./Northview HS) from Pennington.


The BSC defense held Huntingdon off the board until just 42 seconds left in the first quarter. The Hawks put two in the end zone before BSC responded.


Pennington rushed from one yard out with 7:26 left in the half to push the lead to 10.  He would find Watkins four minutes later on a 24-yard pass to give BSC the 31-14 lead.  With just 20 seconds left before the break, Huntingdon put in a 36-yard field goal to pull within 17.


The Hawks came out swinging in the second half.  With two quick scores and a field goal, they tied the score at 31-all with 1:51 remaining in the third quarter.


Pennington rushed for an 11-yard touchdown on the Panthers first possession of the fourth quarter, but Huntingdon put in back-to-back touchdowns to take the lead for the first time in the game with 8:45 seconds left.


The Panthers had an opportunity to tie it up in the final minutes.  They weren't able to convert on fourth-and-long and the Hawks ran the clock out.


BSC hits the road next to open Southern Athletic Association play. They face Rhodes College on Saturday, Sept. 23 in Memphis, Tenn.  Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.