The wait is over as the ETSU football team finally achieved its first win of the season.
On Saturday, the Bucs battled against the Warner University Royals at Kermit Tipton Stadium. The Bucs had not played at home in three weeks because of a bye week and two away games. They came out victorious, though, defeating Warner University 42-9.
“It’s been such a long time, and it feels so good,” said ETSU quarterback Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.). “Taking this long to get a win and finally getting it makes it so much sweeter.”
The first quarter started well for the Bucs. Warner received the ball first but did not stay on the field long as the Bucs defense forced them to punt.
The Bucs capitalized on their first drive on offense as Dalton Ponchillia scored on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Herink.
Warner returned to the field, but a fumble by caused a turnover on downs, giving possession back to the Bucs. It only took seven plays before Jajuan Stinson (Knoxville, Tenn.) scored a 1-yard touchdown to give the Bucs a 14-0 lead.
Herink then switched to the run game, scoring on an 8-yard touchdown run. The Royals were not able to respond, leaving ETSU with a 21-0 lead going into the second quarter.
The Bucs had 169 total yards on offense in the first quarter.
The Bucs marched down the field in their first possession of the second quarter. The drive ended with a 1-yard touchdown run to the end zone by quarterback Nick Sexton. The drive took 87 yards, which is the Bucs’ longest drive of the season.
With about one minute left before halftime, Sexton looked to complete a long touchdown pass to Drake Powell, but the pass resulted in an interception by Warner’s James L. Martin (Tampa, Fla.).
Neither team scored again in the second quarter, sending the Bucs into halftime up 28-0.
ETSU started the third quarter with the ball but could not get things going. The Bucs had to punt the ball away, but the kick returner for the Royals was unable to catch the ball, resulting in a fumble.
The ball was recovered by Alonzo Francois (Ooltewah, Tenn.), giving ETSU good field position at the 30 yard line. Stinson scored the first score of the quarter on a 1 yard touchdown run.
This was the first third quarter score for the Bucs this season.
The Bucs come into the fourth quarter ahead 35-0. Shortly after the quarter began, running back Cory Colder (Ashburn, VA) ran 11 yards to the end zone, giving the Bucs a 42-0 lead.
The touchdown by Colder was his first of the season.
“It felt great; the line did a great job opening the hole,” said Colder. “All week I’ve been stressing to break more tackles… I did it on that play, and it happened to get me a touchdown.”
The Royals had a chance to score on a touchdown pass, but defensive back Domenique Williams (Charlotte, N.C.) intercepted the pass at the goal line.
Due to the close field position, the Royals got a safety and were able to put two points on the board.
Before the quarter ended, the Bucs fumbled on a run play, and the Royals capitalized when Raheem Phillips (Defuniak, Fla.) returned the fumble for a touchdown.
This was the final score of the game, giving the Bucs a 42-9 victory.
Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio) gave a strong defensive performance as he led in tackles for the team with nine.
“Everyone was hitting and getting to the ball,” said Weigel, “and we did it for all four quarters!”
The team will head to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this Saturday to take on Robert Morris.