Story and photo courtesy of Samford Athletics
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Samford offense rolled up 569 yards of total offense, and the Bulldog defense held The Citadel to just seven points as the Samford football team claimed a 38-7 win over 19th-ranked The Citadel Saturday afternoon at Seibert Stadium.
“I thought the enthusiasm and passion that our guys played with was as good as I've seen since I've been here,” Samford head coach Pat Sullivan said. “They've taken a lot of pride in that. Obviously, we have some good players. The play Jaquiski (Tartt) made early really helped us out. And then Fabian (Truss) and Andy (Summerlin) both had good days. Overall, our defense is really starting to play well.”
With the win, Samford improves to 5-1 for the first time since 1992, and the team is also 3-1 in Southern Conference play. The win marked the first time Samford has defeated a ranked Division I-FCS team since defeating sixth-ranked UCF, 36-35, on Oct. 8, 1994. The Citadel drops to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in SoCon play.
Samford senior quarterback Andy Summerlin completed 23-of-32 passes for a career-high 320 yards and one touchdown. Junior running back Fabian Truss rushed 17 times for 114 yards in the win.
Senior wide receiver Riley Hawkins caught three passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, including an 82-yard score from Summerlin. Sophomore receiver Kelvin Clay had four catches for 60 yards.
For the Samford defense, Jaquiski Tartt had an interception he returned 65 yards for a touchdown, to go along with three tackles and two pass break-ups. Darion Sutton led Samford in tackles with nine. Jeremy Towns blocked a Citadel field goal and had one tackle.
For The Citadel, Rickey Anderson rushed four times for 80 yards and a touchdown. Ben Dupree rushed 15 times for 66 yards, and he completed 4-of-8 passes for 63 yards and one interception. Matt Thompson led The Citadel's receivers with three catches for 59 yards.
Samford took the lead first when Tartt intercepted a Dupree pass and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown. Cameron Yaw added the extra point to give Samford a 7-0 lead with 3:36 to go in the first quarter.
Samford struck again late in the second quarter when Summerlin scored on a one-yard sneak with 2:02 left before halftime. Yaw added the PAT to give Samford a 14-0 lead. The score capped a 14-play, 92-yard drive that took 3:49 off the clock.
The Citadel got on the scoreboard when Anderson scored on a 55-yard run with 10:37 left in the third quarter. Thomas Warren added the extra point to cut the Samford lead to 14-7.
Samford answered on the ensuing drive. Summerlin hit Hawkins for an 82-yard touchdown pass with 9:19 left in the third quarter. Yaw's extra point gave Samford a 21-7 lead. Yaw added a 33-yard field goal with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter to push its lead to 24-7.
Samford struck again when Stanley Robinson scored on a one-yard run with 12:21 left in the fourth quarter. Yaw added the extra point to make the score 31-7.
Samford added one final score when D'Morrise Bledsoe scored on a 10-yard run with 2:40 to go, and Yaw's PAT made the final score 38-7. The score was Bledsoe's first touchdown of his Samford career.
As a team, Samford had 249 yards rushing and 320 yards passing. The Citadel finished with 221 rushing yards and 83 passing yards.
Samford will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 13, when the Bulldogs play host to the Appalachian State Mountaineers. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. kickoff from Seibert Stadium.