Elon blanks ETSU football in Southern Conference opener
Running back Gaven Varner rushed for 102 yards on 18 carries in Saturday's loss at Elon.
Running back Gaven Varner rushed for 102 yards on 18 carries in Saturday's loss at Elon.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Elon, N.C. (Sept. 20, 2003) -- An injury-plagued East Tennessee State football team fell to Elon Saturday in the Southern Conference opener for the Buccaneers at Rhodes Stadium in Elon, 14-0. "This was one of the most difficult ballgames I have coached in since I've been here," said ETSU head coach Paul Hamilton. "Our defense played well enough to win, but we did things offensively that cost us the game." ETSU (2-2, 0-1 SoCon) held the Phoenix to just 45 yards passing, but allowed 182 yards on the ground. Meanwhile the Buccaneers struggled to get the offense going with some key injuries on the offensive line and the loss of starting running back Gaven Varner (Summerville, S.C.) for a period of time. After a blocked punt gave the Phoenix (2-2, 1-1 SoCon) great field position on ETSU's four-yard line, Elon broke a scoreless tie at the 6:48 mark in the second half, when Phoenix quarterback Anthony Crews found the endzone on a one-yard QB sneak, helping the home team to a 7-0 advantage. Elon struck again with 10:10 to play in the third quarter on a 37-yard touchdown run by Crews, which gave the Phoenix a 14-0 lead following the extra point by William Rawls. Crews was just 6-of-13 passing, while ETSU quarterback Carl Meadows completed 14-of-38 passes for 144 yards. Meadows connected with eight different ETSU receivers, but the redshirt freshman QB was sacked a total of three times in the contest, including twice by Elon's senior defensive end Wesley Wheeler. "I knew this game was going to be tight," said Hamilton. "We had some chances to make some plays, but we just didn't make them." The Buccaneers had the opportunity to take an early lead, but kicker Jonathan Godfrey's (Johnson City, Tenn.) 47-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left early in the second quarter. Despite limited action in the backfield, Varner rushed for over 100 yards for the third time in four games this season. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound tailback carried the ball 18 times for 102 yards. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Frank Green (Monks Corner, S.C.) caught a team-high three receptions for the Bucs for 45 yards. Defensively, ETSU was led by senior linebacker Mike Cullen (Roswell, Ga.), who recorded nine tackles. Senior cornerback Tony Tiller (Lithonia, Ga.) had one pass breakup and one fumble recovery. "This is certainly a disheartening loss," said Hamilton. "But we'll be ready next week." The Buccaneers will be back at home next Saturday, when they play host to Western Carolina. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Memorial Center.
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MCC NCAA South Regional Tallahassee, Fla.
Nov 14 13 of 22
WCC NCAA South Regional Tallahassee, Fla.
Nov 14 23 of 29
VB ETSU 3 Charleston, S.C.
Nov 14 The Citadel 1
WBB ETSU 81 Final
Nov 14 University of North Carolina at Asheville 68
MBB ETSU 76 F
Nov 14 Valparaiso 90
VB ETSU 3 Macon, Ga.
Nov 15 Mercer University 1
WBB High Point University 76 Final
Nov 17 ETSU 84
MBB Virginia-Wise 66 F
Nov 18 ETSU 111
WBB Appalachian State University 76 Final
Nov 19 ETSU 70
WBB ETSU 79 Final
Nov 21 Saint Francis University 63
VB ETSU Greensboro, N.C.
Nov 22, 12:00 p.m. No. 5 Western Carolina (SoCon Quarterfinal)
MBB UNC Asheville 87 F
Nov 22, 12:00 p.m. ETSU 98
MBB ETSU Rock Hill, S.C.
Nov 24, 7:00 p.m. Winthrop
WBB ETSU Terre Haute, Ind.
Nov 24, 8:00 p.m. Indiana State University
WBB ETSU Bloomington, Ind.
Nov 26, 2:00 p.m. Indiana University
WBB ETSU Blacksburg, Va.
Nov 29, 5:00 p.m. Virginia Tech University
MBB ETSU Morehead, Ky.
Dec 1, 7:00 p.m. Morehead State
WBB ETSU Fairfax, Va.
Dec 3, 5:00 p.m. George Mason University
MBB Western Carolina Freedom Hall
Dec 3, 8:00 p.m. ETSU