Wingate wins 6th straight by beating Tusculum on Senior Day; advances to playoffs

Brendan Shriver, Staff Writer

Wingate built a 16-0 halftime lead and held on for a 16-12 victory over visiting Tusculum on Nov. 10. With its sixth-straight victory, Wingate (8-3 overall, 5-2 SAC) clinches second place in the final SAC regular-season standings.

Wingate senior defensive back Cameron Mattison celebrated Senior Day in style with a 44-yard interception return for a TD while freshman running back Nijere Peoples carried the ball 25 times for 82 yards to finish his first season with 994 rushing yards.

“We are very proud of our seniors and the great leadership they provided all year. The defense came up big all game. The 10 points off turnovers were the difference,” Wingate Head Football Coach Joe Reich says.

It was a dominating effort for the Wingate defensive unit. They recorded seven sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss, forced six fumbles and recovered one of them.

The leader of the defense that night was Cardell Rawlings. He had 8 tackles, 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble.

Offensively, the Bulldogs did just enough to win. Wingate had no turnovers and scored a touchdown and a field goal in their two trips to the red zone.

To start the game, freshman Ra’Quan Simmons returned the kickoff 51 yards. His return set up Wingate’s only offensive touchdown, a 17-yard strike from Shaw Crocker to Mason Flynt.

Following Mattison’s pick-six, Tusculum fumbled on their next possession. Wingate took advantage of the miscue, as redshirt freshman placekicker McLean Robertson nailed a 38-yard field goal to conclude the first half scoring, giving the Bulldogs a 16-0 lead at halftime.

In a scoreless third quarter, Tusculum missed two field goals attempts, one of which was blocked by Robbie Wallace from 24 yards out with 1:36 left in the frame. Finally, Tusculum scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout.

With the win, Wingate advances to the NCAA Division II football playoffs this Saturday. They will play on the road against West Georgia at 12 noon.

Edited by Brendan Shriver

Student Organization Brings Veterans Week to Campus

By: Matthew Myers, Staff Writer

Starting on Monday, Nov. 5, Wingate’s Student Veteran Organization and EKS are launching a week-long campaign for veterans awareness. Spearheaded by SVO and Friends of the Library, Veterans Week is promised to be filled with opportunities so that students may learn and have a better understanding of our military personnel.

Five lyceums will be held throughout the week. On Monday, Brigadier General Powell, Chief of Staff for the Army National Guard and father of Wingate student Taylor Powell, will be speaking about his career and service to others.

Marine Corps veteran, and author, Tracy Crow will present Lyceums on Tuesday and Wednesday covering her literary works. Crow will also conduct a workshop on Thursday, Nov. 9  about cathartic writing.

Thursday evening the campus will welcome Bonnie Amos, wife of the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, to discuss her 42 1/2 years as a military spouse. Her husband, General Amos, was the guest speaker on Founder’s Day 2017, and they have had a Wingate scholarship for grad school established in their honor.

Friday night, in McGee theatre, the SVO will be screening American Sniper and conducting a panel discussion/Q&A with student veterans who have served overseas.

Additionally, there will be interactive displays and events, daily, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. outside Starbucks with SWAG for those students who participate. The events will vary and are subject to change, but students will be exposed to various elements of military life.

Saturday will be the “bookend” for the week as Tailgating for the Troops will be at the football game having banners signed to send overseas and SVO will be announcing the winner of the corn hole board raffle at halftime.

What should students expect to get out of this week? According to Gordon Sprague with SVO, “Students should expect to get out of this what they put into it. It sounds cliché, however, that is a cliché that is ingrained into every recruit from the first day of basic training. The end goal for the week is to provide a unique insight to students unfamiliar with the military. It is our hope that they become more aware of the adversity faced and diversity brought to the university by veterans.”

Veterans Week is not limited to students. According to Sprague, “If students have friends, family, or community members that are veterans and/or supporters of the military that would like to attend any of these events, make sure they invite them.”

Edited By: Rachael Robinson

Bulldogs win big over Mars Hill on Homecoming

Brendan Shriver, Staff Writer

The Wingate University Bulldogs scored the fourth-most points in program history on Oct. 20, racing out to a 44-14 halftime lead en route to a 58-21 victory over visiting Mars Hill University in front of a capacity crowd on Homecoming weekend at Irwin Belk Stadium in South Atlantic Conference football action. Wingate wins its third straight, improving to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the SAC.

“It was a very physical, aggressive game for us. We did a really nice job of getting after them physically,” Wingate Head Football Coach Joe Reich says.

As a team, Wingate piled up a season-high 534 yards, including 284 on the ground, collected 5 turnovers and scored 7 touchdowns in as many trips to the red zone.

Quarterback Shaw Crocker and running back Nijere Peoples led the Bulldog offense. Crocker was 13-for-15 for 223 yards and 2 TDs and ran for a TD in the second half. Peoples had career highs of 33 carries, 166 yards and 2 TDs.

Cardell Rawlings and Joe Kelly led the Wingate defensive unit. Rawlings had 9 tackles while Kelly registered 8 tackles.

Despite the lopsidedness of the score, Wingate trailed only 7-0. But it only took 4 plays for the Bulldogs to tie it up and after a bad snap on a punt that resulted in a safety by Floyd Louallen to make it 9-7 Bulldogs, Wingate was off and running with quick drives from that point forward.

Wingate returns home for Senior Day against the Tusculum Pioneers on Saturday, Nov. 10 after two straight weeks on the road at Newberry and Limestone, respectively.

Edited by Brendan Shriver