Hornets fall in shootout with Hampden-Sydney

HAMPDEN-SYDNEY – Host Hampden-Sydney scored 39 points in the middle of the contest and then held off a furious Shenandoah comeback in a 49-43 Old Dominion Athletic Conference football victory Saturday afternoon.

The win for the Tigers (6-3, 4-1 ODAC) sets up a scenario in which they can win the league title with a victory over Randolph-Macon next week combined with a Shenandoah win over Washington and Lee.

Despite the loss, the Hornets (6-3, 3-2) are not out of the picture. SU can claim its first-ever ODAC championship with a win over W&L plus a Macon win over H-SC. Head coach Scott Yoder’s club would win the title based on the four-team tiebreaker (2-1 record versus other three, head-to-head versus Washington & Lee).

The Generals have the easiest path to the title – a win at Shentel Stadium next week punches their ticket to the NCAA playoffs regardless of the R-MC/H-SC outcome.

Trailing 49-30 with 2:59 remaining, Shenandoah stormed back with Hayden Bauserman touchdown passes of six and three yards to Dershone Hayman and Casey Stewart, respectively, and make the score 49-43 with 1:04 left.

SU, which had executed a successful on-side kick prior to the Bauserman TD to Stewart, sent out kickers Hunter Youngblood and Christian Arias to try a second on-side kick. Youngblood faked the kick, leaving Arias to attempt the try. The ball skidded out-of-bounds, giving Hampden-Sydney possession at the Hornets’ 38.

Shenandoah burned its final two time outs, but H-SC was able to gain the first down it needed to run out the clock and secure the victory.

The Hornets, on the strength of a Jalen Hudson 51-yard return of the opening kickoff, needed just 45 seconds to score the opening touchdown of the game.

Shenandoah eventually led 15-7 at the end of one as Bauserman threw TD passes of 24 yards to Hayman and 11 yards to Michael Ashwell, combined with a Tigers safety on a botched punt at the 8:53 mark.

But the hosts owned the second quarter.

Hampden-Sydney scored all 18 points in the stanza and forced the SU offense into four consecutive drives of four plays or less while turning the Hornets away twice in the red zone.

“Hampden-Sydney out-executed us over the 60 minutes,” Yoder is quoted in a news release from the school. “Over the course of the whole game, they made more consistent plays.

“We finished 3-for-6 in the red zone and at halftime we were 1-for-3 against their 3-for-3. They made the plays they needed to make.”

Bauserman finished 32-of-52 for 401 yards and six touchdowns, with Hayman and Cory Bell each catching two touchdown passes.

Bell had four receptions for 95 yards and another 58 yards rushing on 10 attempts.

Alec Cobb was 33-of-49 for 365 yards and five TDs for the Tigers. H-SC outgained SU 466-429 with the Hornets passing for 401 yards to 365 for Hampden-Sydney.

Shenandoah’s final regular season matchup with Washington & Lee is set for a 1 p.m. Saturday kickoff.