Luke Montalbano, Sports Writer • firstname.lastname@example.org
After an exciting win at Brevard last week, the Emory & Henry Wasps hosted the Scots Maryville College in the Wasps’ Gold Rush game. The Wasps have not beaten the Scots since 2014, and this is still true, as Emory & Henry fell short to Maryville 56-46. This was the first ever gold rush in Emory & Henry history, as the team wore gold uniforms, gold pants, and gold helmets while the crowd was dressed in gold.
The Wasps scored the first three points of the game, as sophomore kicker Matt Seals kicked a 22-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. However, the Scots would score on their next two possessions, and took a 14-3 lead on the Wasps. The Wasps would then score two unanswered touchdowns to take a 17-14 lead late in the first half. However, on one of the final plays in the first half, Maryville quarterback Kirk Castillo threw a pass to receiver Michael Smith for an 8-yard touchdown. However, many Emory & Henry fans felt that the ball hit the ground as Smith made the catch. However, the refs called it a touchdown, and Maryville took a 21-17 lead into halftime.
Maryville got out to a quick start to the second half, scoring two quick touchdowns in the first 3:08 of the third quarter, to take a 35-17 lead. The Wasps and the Scots would trade a pair of touchdowns after this, giving Maryville a 42-24 lead, which was the largest lead by the Scots during the game. The Wasps would end the third quarter on a 42-yard touchdown reception by Jessie Santiago off a pass from Kevin Saxton, cutting the deficient to 42-31 heading into the fourth quarter.
Emory & Henry would then score a one-yard touchdown off the run from Brady Justice. With 11:27 remaining in regulation, junior Eric Johnson recovered a fumble and ran it into the end zone to give Emory & Henry its first lead since the second quarter, giving the Wasps a 46-42 lead. However, Maryville would score the next two touchdowns to win the game 56-46. After the game, the Scots improved to 2-1, while the Wasps fell to 1-2.
Senior Isaiah Rodgers carried the ball 18 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns, while Kevin Saxton went 23 for 35 passing for 239 yards and one touchdown. Jessie Santiago led the Wasps in receiving with 108 yards, and Jaylon Johnson led the way defensively with 14 tackles.
Next week, the Wasps will take a much-needed bye week before conference play begins. Emory & Henry is predicted to finish 1st in the ODAC this year. The Wasps will look to figure out what they can do better, as they prepare to host Washington and Lee in their conference home opener on September, 30th at Fred Selfe Stadium.