By Marc Rabb
Special to College Sports Journal
Editor’s note: This story is courtesy of GWUSports.com
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. — Tyrell Maxwell rushed for a team-high 79 yards and Paul Schumacher converted all three of his field goal attempts, as Gardner-Webb fell to Monmouth, 23-9, in the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ season finale on Saturday afternoon.
Monmouth (5-6, 3-3 Big South) climbed into a tie with Liberty for third in the Big South Conference standings, while Gardner-Webb finishes the season with a 4-7 overall record and a 2-4 mark in conference play.
Gardner-Webb’s offense accounted for 246 total yards – including 159 on the ground – compared to 239 yards for Monmouth. Maxwell completed 12-of-38 passing attempts for 87 yards and two interceptions, while also leading the Runnin’ Bulldogs in rushing with 79 total yards. Mike Estes caught five passes for 33 yards.
Azziz Higgins led all defensive players with 12 total tackles, as Tanner Burch and Angel Guzman added 10 and eight total tackles, respectively. Both Burch and Guzman accounted for 1.5 tackles for loss.
Cody Williams completed 11-of-17 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Zach Welch led the Hawks’ ground attack with 10 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown. Darren Ambush and Reggie White, Jr. each hauled in one pass – both good for touchdowns – of 49 and 36 yards, respectively.
Mike Basile paced the Hawks on the defensive side with 10 total tackles, while Teddie Martinez and Tyler Thompson added nine and eight tackles, respectively. Basile and Joe Johnson each recorded an interception.
Monmouth jumped out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter, scoring the game’s first touchdown on a 49-yard pass from Williams to Ambush to cap an 80-yard drive at the 9:57 mark. Welch finished off an eight-play, 55-yard drive with less than a minute to go in the quarter, extending the advantage to two scores with a two-yard run.
Schumacher put Gardner-Webb on the board with 35 ticks left in the first half, knocking a 35-yard field goal through from the left hash to cut the lead to 14-3 heading into the break.
A pair of field goals from Schumacher in the third quarter – one from 33 yards and the other from 20 – brought the Runnin’ Bulldogs to within one score with 9:49 left in the period. Williams then hit White, Jr. for a 36-yard strike at the 1:07 mark of the third, pushing the Monmouth lead to 21-9 heading into the final stanza.
The Hawks extended the advantage to 23-9 late in the fourth quarter, when Tre Nelson blitzed from the backside and sacked Maxwell in the end zone for a safety.