Saturday was a coming-out party for the youth of Christopher Newport’s football program.
The Captains (2-2, 1-0 USA South) topped Methodist 26-14 on the shoulders of a sophomore rusher, a freshman running back and a breakout performance by backup quarterback Lyndon Garner.
Sophomore running back Markeese Stovall scored three touchdownsin the contest, doubling his season total as part of a 21-carry, 73-yard performance.
He scored in each of the first three quarters, helping the Captains to a 26-0 lead at the start of the fourth.
Stovall remains the Captains’ top rusher with 506 yards on the season, but he was bested by teammate Marcus Morrast in Saturday’s game. The freshman carried the ball 11 times for 77 yards.
Garner joined in the youth movement at the beginning of the second quarter when starting quarterback Christian Woelfel-Monsivais was injured on the final play of the first period.
Woelfel-Monsivais completed 3 of 6 passes for 39 yards before his exit.
Garner had seen action in each of the Captains’ first three games, but not to the extent that he saw Saturday. The sophomore threw for 196 yards and a touchdown, completing 9 of 15 without an interception, as CNU took the first step toward repeating its conference championship.
“We just executed our game plan,” Garner said of his team’s success. “We just wanted to stick to our assignments, basically pound the ball at them with our running game and use our pass plays to gain big.”
The biggest single-play gain came at the start of the third quarter.
Kentel Noel signaled for a fair catch of Tyler Mosko’s kickoff at the Captains’ 15 to start CNU’s drive.
On the first play, Garner connected with freshman receiver Rudy Rudolph, who took the ball 85 yards for a touchdown, giving the Captains a 20-0 lead 13 seconds into the second half.
Methodist (1-3, 0-1 USA South) literally waited until the last minute to avoid a shutout.
The Monarchs scored on a 1-yard run by quarterback Travis Murphy to cap an 18-play, 89-yard drive, cutting the Captains’ lead to 26-7 with 51 seconds remaining.
Murphy led Methodist on the ground and in the air. He rushed for 65 yards on 16 carries and threw for 192 yards, completing 19 of 33.
After Murphy’s TD run, the first of Mosko’s two successful onside kicks led to a five-play scoring drive to put the score at 26-14 with 18 seconds left.
The Monarchs got the ball back again with 18 seconds remaining, but fumbled on the next play, giving the Captains the ball with a second left until victory.
Christopher Newport 26,
Christopher Newport 6; 7; 13;0—26
Methodist 0 ;0 ;0; 14—14
CNU: Stovall 2 run (kick failed), 6:12
CNU: Stovall 7 run (Denuel kick), 6:39
CNU: Rudolph 85 pass from Garner (Denuel kick), 14:47
CNU: Stovall 5 run (pass failed), 11:22
MU: Murphy 1 run (Mosko kick), 0:51
MU: Jones 1 run (Mosko kick), 0:18
First downs 18; 12
Rushes-yards 48-222 ;31-85
Passing 235; 192
Comp-Att-Int 12-21-0; 19-34-0
Return Yards 0; 92
Punts-Avg. 7-32.7; 10-34.9
Fumbles-Lost 1-1; 4-3
Penalties-Yards 7-52; 4-31
Time of Possession 33:35; 26:24
RUSHING: Christopher Newport, Marcus Morrast 11-77, Stovall 21-73, Kentel Noel 5-34, Evan Moog 5-18, Garner 1-12, Christian Woelfel-Monsivais 3-10, Antonio Epps 1-minus 2. Methodist, Murphy 16-65, John Flanagan 10-13, Max Reber 2-5, J. Jones 1-1, Vaughn Cross 1-1, Max Mellon 1-0.
PASSING: Christopher Newport, Garner 9-15-0 196, Woelfel-Monsivais 3-6-0 39. Methodist, Murphy 19-33-0 192, Reber 0-1-0 0.
RECEIVING: Christopher Newport, Noel 5-106, Epps 5-31, Rudolph 2-98. Methodist, Cross 7-70, Brian Hopkins 4-34, Nathan Kindley 3-54, Jason Talbert 2-9, Flanagan 2-7, James Bevans 1-7.