The Maryville College Scots moved to 3-0 for the first time since 2007 after defeating Emory & Henry, 30-13, for the first victory over the Wasps since 1999 in the 100th anniversary of the beginning of rivalry.
The 17-point win marks the largest margin of victory over the Wasps since 1972, as Maryville forced seven turnovers to clinch the perfect start thus far.
"You can draw up anything you want, but when these guys fight for each other and they invest for each other, it goes a long ways," Maryville College Head Coach Shaun Hayes said. "I told them that I could care less about the scoreboard or the stat line. All I want to see when I flip on the tape or walk the sideline is you guys fighting for each other. Control what you can control. If you look back at the '07 team when Coach I was here, that was a lot of it. They fought for each other. It's very special to watch."
The victory moves Hayes' record to 3-0, marking tying him for the fourth-best start in school history with S.A. Lynch. Lynch started 3-0 in his career in 1902, while this is the first 3-0 start by a coach since 1981 as Art Ogden began his career 4-0.
"It's been exciting to watch my assistant coaches and the players," Hayes said of the milestone. "That's what I told them at the end of the game, 'This is so dang fun to watch you guys work together.' They enjoy the process. When it comes game time, they play for each other and fight for each other. It is truly a family atmosphere. The 3-0 start, it is what it is. I'm happy that we are working together and enjoying each other. When you do those things in line, success comes with it. It's just been an awesome experience."
Maryville amassed only 294 yards of total offense to Emory & Henry's 327, but seven turnovers proved costly for the Wasps. Maryville forced two interceptions by Nasir Beyah and Will Winters, forced two fumbles and three turnovers on downs, as the defense led the way for the Scots.
Beyah had 13 total tackles for the Scots, while forcing returning an interception 44 yards. He also forced two fumbles – recovering one – and tallying a pass break-up.
Austin Newton had 10 tackles, while DeAngelo Collington had four tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery while constantly staying in Nick Saxton's face in the backfield.
Nick Myers had a big game at the quarterback position, picking up his second career 100-yard game. The junior was 7-of-9 through the air for 102 yards and a touchdown, as Evan Pittenger went 9-of-16 for 62 yards and a score.
Stevorious Kimball posted 84 receiving yards on three catches with a touchdown, while raking in 218 all-purpose yards for Maryville.
The Scots struck first on their opening drive of the game after Stevorious Kimball returned Chris Bingham's punt 62 yards to the Emory & Henry 21-yard line. A facemask penalty on the return put the ball at the 10-yard line, where Maryville took over. The Wasps defense stood strong, though, forcing at 22-yard field goal by Kyle Bennett to give Maryville a 3-0 lead with 13:08 remaining in the first.
The Scots took advantage of a Chris Thomas fumble, which was forced and recovered by DeAngelo Collington. Maryville used only two plays to go 35 yards, as Evan Pittenger connected with Logan Winders for the 30-yard touchdown pass. The Scots led 10-0 with 11:42 left in the first quarter.
Again, the Scots forced a turnover, as Mario Williams picked off Kevin Saxton's pass. Maryville went 63 yards in 11 plays, as Deshjion Whitlock found a 2-yard hole up the middle. Bennett's extra point attempt was blocked by Tre'von Lightfoot. With 6:39 left in the first quarter, the Scots led 16-0.
The Wasps put together a five-play, 50-yard drive to score with 42 seconds remaining before the second quarter. Thompson rushed the final yards, as Emory & Henry closed the gap to 16-7.
With five forced turnovers in the first half, Maryville took advantage of their third – an interception by Nasir Beyah. Maryville went 36 yards in six plays, as Whitlock posted a 4-yard rush with 1:30 remaining in the first half. The Scots would take a 23-7 lead to the locker room.
To begin the second half, the Wasps used a seven-play, 45-yard drive to close the gap. Isaiah Rodgers rushed the final 2 yards, but the two-point attempt by Saxton was dropped. Maryville led 23-13 with 6:23 left in the third quarter.
The Scots wouldn't let the gap stay close long, though, as they went 63 yards in only four plays. Myers threw a jump ball that Kimball found, taking the pass for 62 yards and a touchdown. The pitch-and-catch ranks as the 14th longest reception in MC history, as the Scots led 30-13 with 5:03 remaining in the third quarter.
Maryville's chance to extend their lead came with 17 second remaining before the fourth quarter. Bennett's 32-yard field goal attempt was partially blocked by the Wasps, leaving the Scots lead at 17 points going into the final quarter.
The Scots put together a drive that lasted 6:25 to drain the clock to 4:31. Maryville would force a the seventh Wasp turnover of the game with a sack by DeAngelo Collington and Tommy Wright at the 3:57 mark. The Scots' potent run game would take the rest of the time off the clock for the 30-13 victory.
Maryville will have a week off before hosting Methodist University for the first USA South Athletic Conference game and Coach to Cure MD Day. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m.