"On Highlanders, down the field, rolling up a high score…"
Maryville College fans got an in-person treat to that famous phrase from the Fighting Scots fight song on Saturday afternoon, as Maryville defeated Ferrum College, 70-37, on a chilly homecoming afternoon.
Those 70 points mark the most points scored by any Maryville College squad in 88 years. The last time the Scots hung 70 or more on the Honaker Field board was in 1927 – a 73-0 victory over Bluefield (Va.) College.
"I'm just proud of the offensive guys," Head Coach Shaun Hayes said. "If you look at last week, that was a tough football game for us. We turned it over. We challenged our guys hard. It's not that they played bad [last week]…we ended up beating ourselves. We had to stick through the process, and we know who we are. I really credit our offensive coaches for sticking to the process, and our players for believing in what we are doing here."
The most-ever scored by a Scots team was 103 over Union College (Ky.) in 1924.
However, the high score wasn't the only record to fall during the 2015 Homecoming.
Maryville's Evan Pittenger went 9-of-15 through the air for 166 yards and two touchdowns, while catching a half-back pass for a 15-yard gain. The senior also rushed for an additional 151 yards on 12 carries, adding two scores across the ground.
In all, this three-year captain tallied 332 of Maryville's 636 total yards.
"He's very resilient. That's what I told everybody," Hayes said of Pittenger, as the senior hurler tossed four interceptions against N.C. Wesleyan last week. "If you look at his stat line from last week, everybody would say, 'Oh, Pitt played bad.' It wasn't all his fault. He was mature enough to hand that and come back. It's just been awesome to watch him grow. His journey – I've just been fortunate to have him for four years. He deserves ever accolade he gets."
Pittenger crossed his 6,000th career yard during the homecoming match-up, boasting 6,177 all-purpose yards in his illustrious career.
Pittenger also passed Thomas Stephens (1989-92) with his 151-yard rushing performance to become the fifth-leading rusher all-time in Maryville College history with 1,751 career rushing yards.
"The main thing I can say is I've been so fortunate with the guys I've had around me," Pittenger said. "I've been blessed with an amazing coaching staff and offensive line, and the receivers I've had since I've been here have been awesome. I wish I could give them as much credit as I'm getting for that. I'm just so lucky to have those guys around me."
Mario Williams had a career-high 102 yards receiving on seven catches, as Stevorius Kimbal had 74 yards and two touchdowns on three catches.
For Ferrum, it was all Troy Helton. The junior quarterback had 393 yards for the Panthers, going 17-of-33 for 254 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 139 yards on 23 carries for a pair of scores, as the quarterback accounted for four of Ferrum's five touchdowns.
Ferrum College (1-5, 1-2 USAS) struck first on the opening drive of the game, setting the tone for the scoring of the day. Helton rushed for 20 yards up the middle to complete a 62-yard, eight-play drive. The Panthers led 7-0 with 10:59 remaining in the first half.
Maryville (5-1, 2-1) would strike back quickly, however, behind the feet of Pittenger. The senior quarterback dropped to pass, but the pressure flushed him from the pocket. Michael Smith posted block, as Pittenger ran 66 yards for the touchdown. Maryville knotted the score at 7-all with 10:00 left in the first.
Hayes' used a gutsy call, as the Scots used a pooch onside kick, which Maryville recovered on the Ferrum 44. Whitlock went five yards to finish the five-play drive, as the Scots led 14-7 with 8:37 left in the first quarter.
Ferrum would punt on their next drive, spotting the Scots inside the 15-yard line. Maryville went 85 yards in 10 plays in just 3:32, as Rokins rushed the final 2 yards for the Score and a 21-7 MC lead.
Moments into the second quarter, Ferrum would strike again, as Harvey Taylor completed a nine-play, 59-yard drive with a two-yard run for the end zone. The Panthers pulled to within seven, 21-14, with 14:56 left in the first half.
Maryville would waste no time, however, as Pittenger found his second rushing touchdown of the evening. Pittenger rushed the final 20 yards for a 28-14 MC lead, completing the six-play, 68-yard drive with 12:57 showing on the clock.
Helton scored his second rushing touchdown of the day for the Panthers with 7:57 remaining in the half, before Helton would find Antonio Parker for a 21-yard touchdown pass with only 19 seconds showing on the clock. Those two scores pulled the Panthers to within one, 28-27, as it looked to be a close game going to the locker room.
However, Pittenger had other plans. With no time left on the clock, Pittenger found Stevorius Kimball for a 46-yard touchdown pass. Maryville took a 35-27 lead to the half.
The second half was all Scots, though, as Pittenger passed his second touchdown of the afternoon – again to Kimball – this time from 6 yards out. The play ended a nine-play, 68-yard drive to give Maryville a 42-27 advantage.
A 13-play, 59-yard drive for the Panthers ended with Hunter Ferguson knotching a 28-yard field goal. Ferrum pulled to within 12 with 5:28 left in the third.
Maryville used an unconventional play to score their next points. Elijah Chenier rushed 10 yards to the Ferrum 23, but Raekwon Giggetts forced the ball out. Mario Williams scooped it up, dashing the final 23 yards to pay dirt. The Scots led 49-30 with 4:28 left in the third.
Whitlock found his second score of the game only 1:39 later. The sophomore back was held up at the 7 yard line, but the trenches pushed the pile past the pylons. Maryville led 56-30 just before the fourth quarter.
It took the Panthers only 1:29 to score again, as Helton connected with Nick Pearce for a 38-yard touchdown pass. Maryville led 56-37 with 1:20 left in third.
Whitlock's scored his third touchdown of the afternoon with a 44-yard jaunt to the goal, with 12:08 left in the contest. The three-play, 61-yard drive gave Maryville a 63-37 lead.
The final score of the day came off the feet of junior quarterback Nick Myers rushed 4 yards to complete a six-play, 41-yard drive to give the Scots a 70-37 win on Homecoming.
Maryville will look to face off with Averett University next weekend at 1 p.m. The Cougars are 1-4 overall and 1-1 in USA South play.