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Mike Ayers holding SoCon trophy

It's your world. Win it.

Football earns SoCon title with win at VMI.

The Wofford College football team secured the Southern Conference Championship with a 45-7 win at VMI on Nov. 11 at Foster Stadium. The Terriers had a 21-7 lead at the half and took advantage of a pair of turnovers in the third quarter to add to the advantage.
 
Wofford, ranked eighth in the nation, is 9-1 overall and 7-1 in the Southern Conference. VMI ends their season at 0-11 and 0-8 in the league. The Terriers had rushing touchdowns by five different players, including two by Andre Stoddard. The Keydets were held to 80 rushing yards and Reece Udinski threw for 207 yards on 24-of-39 passing.
 
"It was a tremendous win to secure the Southern Conference Championship," said head coach Mike Ayers. "I am blessed to have this group of guys. Opportunities to win a title don't come around every day and when they do you can't let it get away. These kids have matured over the course of the year and were focused on today. They were ready to play and I am excited about what we accomplished. There is not much time to enjoy it, since tomorrow we start to get ready for USC."
 
Both teams went three-and-out and punted on their opening drives. A sack by Miles Brown led to a three-and-out by the Keydets. Lennox McAfee had a 27-yard punt return and Wofford overcame a loss of yardage on a fumble with a first down reception by R.J. TaylorLennox McAfee and Blake Morgan added first downs before Blake Morgan scored a three-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead with 4:29 left in the first quarter. On the next drive by VMI, they gained two first downs before a pass on a fake punt was incomplete.
 
Wofford took over at the 47-yard line and added a first down on a pass interference call. A 22-yard run by Lennox McAfee got the Terriers inside the red zone. Lennox McAfee took it in from four-yards out for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead at 13:46 in the second quarter. A pass by the Keydets was intercepted by Devin Watson on the 44-yard line. Brandon Goodson was sacked twice on the next drive and Wofford had to punt. The Keydets had one first down, but then a fumble was forced by Colton Clemons and recovered by Daryl Vining at the 33-yard line. A first down by Blake Morgan was followed by a first down pass to Chandler Gouger. VMI picked up a first down and then converted a fourth-and-three. They added a fourth-and-four conversion to move inside the 10. An eight yard touchdown pass to Kris Thornton cut the lead to 21-7 with fourteen seconds left in the first half. The Terriers threw a pass to the end zone on the final play of the half that fell incomplete.
 
The Terriers went three-and-out on the opening possession of the second half. Wofford had a 62-yard pass to Chandler Gouger, who was finally pushed out of bounds just short of the goal line. Andre Stoddardfinished the drive with a one-yard run for a 28-7 lead at 12:06 in the third quarter. The Keydets had two first downs before having to punt back to the Terriers. Andre Stoddard ran for a first down and then Jason Hill caught a 37-yard pass to get the ball to the 20. A 32-yard field goal by Luke Carter pushed the lead to 31-7 at the 4:53 mark of the third quarter. After two first downs by the Keydets, JoJo Tillery grabbed a fumble forced by Ulysses Strawter out of the air and returned it 76 yards. On the next play, Joe Newmanscored from six yards for a touchdown and a 38-7 lead with 1:49 left in the third quarter.
 
On the next series by the Keydets, Daryl Vining forced and recovered a fumble, knocking the ball free from the receiver. After a first down by Jamison ChapmanOstin McPherson scored from the one, giving the Terriers a 45-7 lead with 13:08 left in the game. The teams then traded three-and-outs. With the ball back, VMI had three first downs and scored on a 15-yard pass to Kris Thornton with 6:13 on the clock to make it a 45-14 contest.
 
Wofford had a first down run by Miller Mosley before punting. VMI added a pair of first downs before coming up short on fourth down. The Terriers took over with 15 seconds left and took a knee for the win.
 
Wofford had 295 total yards, with 158 rushing. VMI had 287 total yards, 207 of which were passing. Wofford had 14 first downs to 16 for VMI. Wofford was 7-of-13 on third downs. VMI was 4-of-15 on third down and 2-of-4 on fourth down. Wofford was called for one penalty, while WMI was whistled four times. Wofford had a 30:09 to 29:51 time of possession advantage.
 
Wofford vs. VMI Post-Game Notes
 
Wofford won a share of the Southern Conference Championship for the fifth time – 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2012. The Terriers, by virtue of the season opening win over Furman, have secured the league's automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. It will be Wofford's eighth appearance – 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2016.
 
The game was only the second this season decided by more than one possession. Wofford has played in eight games that have been decided by one possession with a 7-1 record in those games.
 
The interception by Devin Watson was his fourth of the season and seventh of his career. Billy Hinton and Mason Alstatt led the team with six tackles each, while Miles Brown had a sack.
 
Game captains were Brandon GoodsonRoss DemmelNeil Monaghan, and Tyler Vaughn.
 
Attendance was 4,229 at Foster Stadium.
 
The Terriers concluded the regular season on November 18 at South Carolina, with a 4:00 p.m. kick-off.

 

By Brent Williamson