VSU loses to Division 1 team in season finale

ETTRICK, VA (WWBT) - VSU set a season high for passing yards, but it wasn't enough to win its final game of the season.  The Trojans lost to Gardner-Webb, the second Division 1 team they played this year, 34-13 in Boiling Springs, NC.

Junior quarterback, Jarred Battle completed 25 of 48 pass attempts and threw a 13 yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver, Timothy Paulk for a touchdown. The Bulldogs rushed for 4 touchdowns and gained 296 total yards on the ground. VSU threw 3 interceptions and had a total of -3 rushing yards.

The Trojans went into the half down 14-3 by two rushing touchdown by the Bulldogs offense. Senior kicker, William Rudd made a 25 yard field goal late in the second quarter scoring VSU's only points of the first half.

The Trojans made a statement on their first drive of the second half, by forcing a punt on defense and then scoring on a 14 play 80 yard drive. Battle connected with Timothy Paulk from 13 yards out cutting the Bulldog lead to 14-10 with 7:12 left in the third quarter. Battle made 10 completions on that drive hooking up with 5 different Trojan receivers.

The Trojans cut the lead to within a single point later in the third quarter as Rudd made his second field goal of the night, scoring from 26 yards out with under a minute remaining in the quarter.

GWU extended their lead on their next possession, by nailing a 26 yard field goal with 12:57 in the fourth quarter, pushing the score to 17-13. After a Trojan punt on the following possession, the Bulldog's Kenny Little rushed for a 72 yard touchdown making the score 24-13 with 10:06 in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs forced their second turnover of the night to the Trojans offense with an interception by GWU's Gianni Olivas. Ivan Toomer caught Battle's first thrown interception of the game earlier in the first half. Running back, Chandler Browning scored from one yard out adding to the Bulldog lead, 31-13 with 7:04 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Defensively for VSU, senior linebacker, Jeremy Pruitt recorded a game-high 14 tackles against the Bulldogs offense. Senior defensive backs, Howard Spencer, Jr. and Larry Armstead played in their final game as a Trojan. Armstead had 7 tackles and Spencer had 6 tackles. Spencer played great on special teams, gaining 105 yards on 3 kick returns.

Battle had his best performance passing of the 2011 season with 282 yards in the air. Junior wide receiver, Alan Anderson led with 6 catches for 85 yards. Junior, Corey Young also caught 6 passes for a total of 78 yards. Paulk had the most receptions for VSU, catching 7 for a total of 44 yards and scored the only touchdown for VSU.

The Trojans close out their 2011 season at 5-5 with a 34-13 loss to the Bulldogs of Gardner Webb University. They began and ended their season against two Division I schools and played 7 games on the road. This is the fourth consecutive season, the Trojans finished with five wins or more. VSU won all three home games and will finish the season ranked second in the CIAA Northern Division behind Elizabeth City State.

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