No. 25 CNU Improves to 3-0 With 34-6 Win Over Shenandoah
NEWPORT NEWS, Va.- For the second straight Saturday night, more than six thousand fans filled POMOCO Stadium on the Christopher Newport University campus. And for the second straight week, they saw the Captains use a superior defensive effort to dismiss a non-conference opponent.
CNU, ranked 25th in the nation, erupted for three second-quarter touchdowns and held Shenandoah to just a fourth quarter score in a decisive 34-6 win over the Hornets. The triumph propels the Captains to a 3-0 record for the first time in the 13-year history of the football program.
With the Captains holding a 3-0 edge, CNU starting quarterback Marcus Morrast suffered a shoulder injury late in the first quarter. He was replaced by Lyndon Garner, who stepped in and went to work. Garner, a senior, connected on an 83-yard scoring pass to junior Rudy Rudolph early in the second quarter. The two hooked up again on a 53-yard scoring pass less than two minutes later, and CNU was suddenly up by a 17-0 margin.
"Lyndon Garner showed our young guys tonight what it means to be prepared," Head Coach Matt Kelchner said following the victory. "He works hard in practice and he was ready when he was called on."
Garner completed nine of 11 passes attempted for 219 yards and the two scoring strikes. Morrast's injury is not believed to be serious, and he returned to the sideline in the second half.
Christopher Newport added a 10-yard touchdown run from sophomore Storm Parker to take a 24-0 lead at the half, and then cruised through a rainy second half to the 34-6 win. It was Parker's first career touchdown.
Sophomore kicker Mason Studer booted two field goals, connecting from 20 yards in the first quarter and 26 yards in the third quarter. Studer is now four-for-four on field goal attempts this season.
Freshman Daquan Davis capped the scoring with a 13-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, his first career score as well.
"Our offense caught up a bit this week, but I have to give our defense a lot of credit," Kelchner continued. "They have been disciplined and consistent through all three games, and tonight they did everything we asked them to do. Our defensive coaches have come up with some great game plans, and we've executed them almost perfectly."
The Captains defense allowed just one score for the second straight week, and is now giving up an average of less than eight points per game. Senior Evan Moog added 13 more tackles against Shenandoah, and now has made 41 stops in three games.
CNU held Shenandoah to just 267 total yards, and only 54 rushing yards on 25 attempts.
Christopher Newport sophomore running back Paul Dukes rushed for 107 yards on 17 carries. Junior receiver Rudy Rudolph finished with three catches, two for scores, for 145 yards.
The Family Weekend crowd of 6,192 is second only to last week's attendance of 6,675 on CNU's all-time list.
Shenandoah is now 1-2 on the year under first-year coach Scott Yoder. The Hornets only score came on a 19-yard pass from Justin Neff to Brandon Adams in the fourth quarter.
It was the final non-conference game of the season for the Captains, who ended up out-scoring their first three opponents, 68-23.
The Captains have next weekend off before beginning USA South Athletic Conference play on Saturday, October 5th. CNU will travel to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to take on Methodist University in a 1:00 p.m. start. The Monarchs are currently 2-1.