Bauserman, SU pass by Ferrum
WINCHESTER – In the end, the only thing of suspense was Shenandoah University’s point production.
Its football team came a missed extra-point shy of the all time school scoring record in a 53-33 non-conference victory over Conference USA member Ferrum College.
Fifty-four points was the existing record, set in 2003 against Chowan, according to university officials,
Otherwise, the game seemed out of hand in the first half until the visiting Panthers made things dicey later. Then the Hornet defense cut off the faucet in the fourth quarter for the 20-point triumph.
Shenandoah (2-0) is now a game shy of going 3-0 for the fourth straight time in head coach Scott Yoder’s four-year tenure. The Panthers fell to 1-1.
Shenandoah defensive stopper Malik Sims (seven tackles, one pass breakup) noted, “I tell them we’re 2-0, going for 3-0, but 2-0 or 3-0 is not our goal. Our goal is to go 10-0.”
First things first.
Ferrum first-year coach Rob Grande, the former Emory & Henry assistant coach, called Hayden Bauserman a “heckuva quarterback.”
“It starts with that, then it’s the scheme, the personnel, and the technique they use,” Grande said.
Bauserman, the Woodstock resident and Central High School product, completed 31 of 48 pass attempts for 374 yards and four touchdowns. He was just picked off one time.
The last time Bauserman faced these Panthers he set a single-game record for passing touchdowns (four), which he tied Saturday, and completion percentage (84.2).
This time, his yardage did not match his finest day against Guilford last season when he completed 37 balls for 450 yards.
He will take it just the same.
Yoder noted, “It looks easy because we practice it and the way they were playing they were inviting us to do it.”
The way the Panther defense aligned, the cornerbacks were pressing SU’s wide receivers at first, but when Bauserman hooked up with wide receiver Leonard Scott for a 32-yard deep ball to the Ferrum 4, Ferrum College dropped into softer coverage. Their defensive backs were leaving SU more room to maneuver underneath.
After Bauserman pitched it to athletic Cedrick Delaney, who cut around right end for a 4-yard touchdown burst, it was 14-0 with 10:29 left in the first quarter.
Oddly enough, Ferrum had yet to touch the ball on offense because an onsides kick, recovered by SU’s Derek Davis, set up the second touchdown of the evening.
Shenandoah took the early lead when Bauserman found the same Scott (two receptions, 45 yards) for a 9-yard back-shoulder touchdown catch. It was 7-0 early.
Scott seemed to have injured his knee on the big pass on the next series, and was helped from the field. Yoder said the knee would be re-examined Monday. “We won’t know his status for a while,” said Yoder.
Even so, the script had been set. Shenandoah consumed the rest of the game, letting Bauserman find nine different receivers. Most of the latter caught balls on the edge and then made their own yards.
When Ferrum and starting quarterback Harvey Taylor did get the ball they made quick work of a scoring drive. Taylor found Johnny White (3-121, 1 touchdown) on a 48-yard play-action pass that carried to the SU 17.
Four straight running plays later, the Panthers were in the Hornets’ end zone on a Brian Mann (21 rushes, 147 yards, 1 touchdown) 6-yard jaunt around left end. The Chase Deaton extra-point was good. The score was 14-7 with 8:23 to go in the first quarter.
Bauserman then led his team on to its third straight touchdown excursion in as many tries.
A 10-yard run got the ball to midfield. Three plays got the ball to the 38 where Ferrum (10 penalties, 71 yards) committed encroachment to move the ball to the 33.
After throwing only his second incompletion in seven attempts, Bauserman found SU’s Jalen Brisco (5-76, 1) for a 28-yard gainer to the 4. Three straight runs got it in with Cedrick Delaney (two touchdowns) doing the honors from 1-yard out. Newton’s kick made it 21-7 with 4:12 still remaining in Quarter 1.
A pooch kickoff garnered positive results.
Ferrum freshman Taylor Brown fumbled the reception and SU’s Deaquan Porter recovered at the Panther 42.
Yoder said, “We tried some things with our (short) kickoffs because they were there. We flat won the special teams-our returners and our kicking team. We worked on it.”
The Hornets averaged 22.5 yards on two punt returns and almost 26 yards on seven kickoff returns.
Nonetheless, two plays netted minus-26 yards for the home team and as the first period began its descent the Hornets punted for the first time.
“They have athletes too, now. (Montel Lee and Al Matthews) – we couldn’t block them,” said Yoder.
Josh White returned a Ferrum punt from his own 28 to the Panther 46, giving the Hornets excellent field position again.
As the second quarter began, Bauserman hit Dershone Hayman Jr. on a flair in the flat and the junior did the rest. He broke four tackles for a 25-yard gain to the 17. Tack on 8 more yards due to a Panther personal foul and the Hornets were cooking at the Ferrum College nine.
On the next play, Jalen Hudson took a pitch and cut inside for a 9-yard touchdown scamper. The tell-tale extra point was blocked but SU led 27-7 with 13:51 remaining in the half.
The SU defense made two key fourth-down stops on a pair of subsequent Ferrum possessions. Leading the charge was Strasburg graduate Cody Miller, who led all tacklers with nine stops.
On the second icing, the Panthers turned the ball over on downs on the Hornets’ 32.
Bauserman & Co. took 13 plays to go 68 yards for a fifth score in seven tries. A key play along the way was when the Central grad found Delaney (7 catches, 58 yards) in a seam for a 26-yard pickup to the Panther 39. He and several receivers dinked and dunked to get to the 9. After a fumbled snap, the sophomore hit Brisco on a curl for the 6. Newton was good on the point after touchdown.
Shenandoah was rolling 34-7 with 1:21 remaining in the half.
Ferrum got back-to-back touchdowns in the third quarter to keep the attendance of 2,048 in its seats at muggy Shentel Stadium
First, Chris Guy hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass and Deaton followed with the extra point with 12 minutes showing on a third-quarter clock.
Then Matthews, a 242-pound defensive lineman, intercepted a batted ball and rumbled 41 yards. Deaton’s kick meant a 14th straight point for the visitor. It had taken Ferrum just another 12 seconds to score.
After starting ahead 34-7, SU was looking at a 34-21 score.
But a collected Bauserman kept whittling away at the corners, moving his team as if nothing had happened.
Brisco (5-76, 1) fought his way 16 yards to the Ferrum 44 after receiving a throw and then Justin Ayers did similar. He carried tacklers 18 paces to the Panther 20.
Bauserman then dialed up Qlyl Middelijn for the 20-yard score. Newton’s kick made it 41-21 with 9:28 showing in the third quarter.
On this drive the quarterback was six-for-six in completions.
Newton, who scored 9 points, was good for a 25-yard field goal at the 6:21 mark to expand the SU spread to 13.
A safety on Ferrum adjusted the score to 46-21 with 5:15 showing in the third.
But the Panthers refused to give.
With freshman Tyler English at the controls, Ferrum tried to convert a fourth-and-one at the SU 41. The Panthers did more than that. English broke off left tackle then glided almost untouched into the end zone. A halfback pass failed, so the score was 46-27 with 1:48 left in the quarter.
Ferrum opened the fourth with another score. This was a strike delivered to Johnny White. The play covered 70 yards, but again SU halted the point-after. Still it was 46-33 with some 50 seconds into the final period.
A kickoff return and personal foul on the visitors put the Hornets back in business at midfield.
Bauserman rifled three-of-four pass completions, with the final one being a flair to Ayers (3-60, 1) who sprinted into the end zone from 33 yards out. Newton’s kick was good and the score was 53-33 with 12:38 remaining.
Grande said, “It’s tough to start two possessions down (14-0) before you even touch the ball, but credit their special teams. That’s my area and I’ll take responsibility for it.”
Yoder said he love how aggressive they started.
“You can’t start much better than that. The thing that impressed me was, we had control, then things started slipping away, but we found a way to stop it and take over again,” he added.
Contact Jim Laise at email@example.com.