Late Runback Lifts Catholic Past Guilford, 23-22
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Andrew Ouellette's 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 4:19 remaining gave visiting Catholic University of America a stunning 23-22 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football victory at Guilford College Saturday afternoon.
The Quakers (0-9, 0-5 ODAC) took a short-lived 22-17 lead on its previous possession when rookie Zac Halbert threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Ben King with 4:32 left in regulation. After Aaron Thompson picked off the Quakers' two-point conversion pass, Ouellette took the ensuing kickoff at his own six-yard line, cut to his left and sprinted down the sideline for his second touchdown return of the season.
A 36-yard kickoff return by Lawrence Blake gave the Quakers possession on Catholic's 49-yard line, but the Cardinals' (4-5, 2-3 ODAC) defense held firm as Thompson broke up Halbert's fourth-down pass attempt with 3:08 left in the game. Catholic took over and after an 11-yard run by Mike Pitsenberger, the Cardinals ran out the clock.
Catholic overcame an early 14-0 deficit with a defensive effort that forced four turnovers that led to 10 Cardinals' points. Three different Cardinals, including Thompson, picked off Guilford quarterback Billy Watkins in the second quarter after the senior threw a 30-yard score to D.J. Wilson that opened the game's scoring. Joe Tretter recovered a Bailey Crego fumble in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 37-yard Conor Maloney field goal and a 17-16 Catholic lead.
Behind Crego's career-high 148 rushing yards, Guilford enjoyed a sizable edge over Catholic in total offense (414-217) and time of possession (36:11-23:49). Halbert played the second half and completed 11-of-18 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown, all career highs.
Pitsenberger carried 22 times for 66 yards and two touchdowns in his first game back from a one-game absence due to injury. He scored on runs of one and four yards in the second quarter, which helped the Cardinals pull to within 16-14 at halftime. Pitsenberger also caught three passes for 55 yards. Quarterback Greg Cordivari completed 19-of-34 passes for 170 yards.
Catholic's Conor Stueckler made a team-high eight tackles, one and a half for loss. Teammate Dylan O'Shea added six stops and an interception. Anthony Albanese also made six tackles, two behind the line of scrimmage. Guilford's David LaPlaca led all defenders with 10 tackles. Teammate Chris Jessup had eight stops and recovered a fumble.
Guilford closes the 2010 season next Saturday at Emory & Henry College at 1:00 p.m. Catholic entertains Bridgewater College next Saturday in its season finale.