GREENSBORO, N.C.(9-11-10) - Travis Murphy's eight-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Autry with 7:56 to play gave visiting Methodist University a 26-21 football win at Guilford College Saturday night.
Murphy completed 17-of-24 passes for 200 yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers in his second career start. The sophomore also ran for 39 yards on 13 attempts. Jason Talbert was his favorite target with seven receptions for 86 yards, including an 18-yard score that gave the Monarchs (1-1) at 14-7 halftime lead.
The second half featured a gallant comeback and a handful of key plays that determined the game's final outcome. An errant snap into the end zone resulted in a Guilford safety early in the third quarter and brought the Quakers (0-2) to within 14-9.
Methodist recovered a muffed punt by Guilford's Kenneth Hyman III on the Quakers' 25-yard line later the in third. The recovery set up Murphy's 25-yard touchdown pass to Corey McGuire on the very next play, which opened a 20-9 Monarchs' lead. Guilford's Justin Williams-Blackwell blocked the point after attempt.
The Quakers answered with a nine-play, 76-yard drive capped by a 27-yard touchdown pass from Luke Vandall to Tyler Hasty. Vandall's pass attempt failed and Methodist held a 20-15 edge after three quarters.
After Tyler Mosko's 50-yard field-goal attempt fell short early in the fourth quarter, Vandall moved the Quakers downfield again, this time scoring on a one-yard keeper to give Guilford its first lead of the game, 21-20, with 10:24 left in regulation.
The Quakers were penalized 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff due to excessive celebration after the go-ahead score. A Guilford personal foul penalty at the end of the kickoff return gave the Monarchs the ball at midfield. Murphy spread the ball around with four completions to four receivers in a six-play drive, the last his eight-yard scoring toss to Autry. Murphy's two-point conversion pass failed, which kept the score at 26-21.
Methodist's defense preserved the lead with big plays on Guilford's final two possessions. First, James Shipman picked off Vandall on the Monarchs' 26-yard line. After a three-and-out by Methodist's offense, Michael Doyne sacked Vandall for an eight-yard loss at the Quakers' 39-yard line with 2:49 remaining. Daniel Castillo broke up Vandall's fourth-and-18 pass intended for Hasty to close out the win.
Vandall completed 22-of-40 passes for 304 yards, an interception and two scores, all career highs. Ben King made a game-best 11 grabs for 188 yards, including a 35-yard second-quarter screen pass that scored Guilford's first touchdown.
Jacob Hunt's seven tackles led Methodist's defensive effort that held Quakers to four-of-15 on third-down conversion attempts and one-of-three on fourth down. The Monarchs also limited Guilford to one score on three trips into the red zone.
Guilford hits the road next week to play Averett University at 1:00 p.m. Following a bye week, Methodist visits Emory & Henry College Sept. 25 at 1:00 p.m.