LAURINBURG — The St. Andrews University football team concluded its inaugural season with the toughest division opponent No. 2 Reinhardt University (Ga.).
The Knights weren’t able to keep pace with the Eagles falling 54-12 in their final home game on Saturday.
St. Andrews finishes their inaugural season at 2-8 overall and 1-5 in the Appalachian Division while No. 2 Reinhardt is 9-0 and 6-0 in the division and will head to the NAIA playoffs next week.
It was a quick start for the Knights as Jermaine Trotman gave St. Andrews terrific field position to start the game with a 45-yard kick return. Despite the return, the Knights offense stalled at mid-field to give Reinhardt decent field position.
St. Andrews special teams stepped up and blocked the Eagles field goal — Reinhardt returned the favor on the Knights ensuing possession and turned it into the first touchdown of the game. The Eagles put together a three-play, 80-yard drive which was capped by a three-yard run from M’Calun Lanier.
Reinhardt scored five additional touchdowns in the first half to take a 41-0 lead into the locker room. Mistakes by the Knights allowed the Eagles to capitalize and put points on the board as a fumble and Kacey Otto interception both led to touchdowns for Reinhardt.
The Eagles didn’t slow down their scoring drive in the third quarter with two more touchdowns before Otto found Trotman on a 12-yard in the corner of the end zone to finally put St. Andrews on the board. The extra point by Carson Gibbs was no good, leaving the Knights trailing 51-6.
St. Andrews only other touchdown came on a 25-yard touchdown run by Bronton Woodard — his second touchdown of the season.
The Knights managed to hold Reinhardt to 13 second-half points — two field goals and a touchdown — while scoring two touchdowns themselves.
St. Andrews managed 289 yards of total offense while Reinhardt totaled an impressive 620 yards including 441 rushing yards — showing why they are the No. 1 rushing offense in the league.
Freshman tailback Trevor McNeil led the Knights with nine carries for 64 yards including a 40-yard scamper. Running back Samuel Wright had 59 total yards of offense. Freshman running back Jacob Rushing put up 49 yards on the ground while freshmanKashard Cohens led the receiving corps with 18 yards.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Andrew Austin led the team with eight tackles including four solo along with a tackle for loss. Freshman safety Nathan Belch registered seven tackles while fellow defensive backs Kendric Ivey and Jaylan Burton recorded five tackles apiece.
The St. Andrews football team will open their 2018 season on the road against Edward Waters College (Fla.) on Aug. 25.