Written by Steven Davis. Media by Ryan St. Hill.
On Saturday, the Panthers rallied from a 20-0 first half deficit to defeat the Northwestern Eagles 37-23 on Homecoming day with strong performances from both quarterback Brendan Chambers and running back Jacob Stull. Chambers threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns while Stull rushed 22 times for 105 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-clinching score with six minutes and 42 seconds remaining.
Early on, the Eagles jumped out to a quick lead after capitalizing on a Panthers fumble. Northwestern finished off a ten-play drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Fletcher to Luke Couwenhove. They scored twice more in the first half to make the score 20-0 after a missed extra point.
The Panthers began their comeback with a dramatic drive that was highlighted by a 46 yard run by Shawn McKnight and a 13 yard run by Chambers on 4th and 9 to move the chains. The Panthers scored on another fourth down play when freshman wide receiver Michael Green caught a nine-yard pass from Chambers, to finally put Greenville on the board.
After a strong three and out by the Panthers defense, Greenville quickly got the ball back with 41 seconds left in the half. A Greenville football program that thrives under two minute situations did not see time as an issue as they stormed down the field. A deep pass by Chambers to sophomore receiver Nick Newton appeared to be a touchdown, but was nullified by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when Newton was ruled to have unnecessarily dived into the end zone. The Panthers flushed it and continued to make plays. Following a 14-yard reception by McKnight, junior tight end Nathan Butler caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Chambers with no time remaining in the half. Senior Josh Frewin’s kick was good, sending the Panthers into halftime trailing only 20-14.
In the second half, the Panthers sluggish defense finally came to life. The Panthers got the ball back after a fumble recovery by freshman linebacker Nick Morrow on the third play of the half. Four plays later, Stull ran the ball in for a one-yard touchdown and Greenville had their first lead of the game.
Northwestern responded with a 12-play, 59-yard drive that culminated in 32-yard field goal by kicker Kevin Langmade to retake the lead at 23-21. After trading punts, Greenville drove down the field in 15 plays, leading to a one-yard touchdown run by Jacob Stull. On the ensuing drive, Northwestern was forced to punt. Sophomore outside linebacker Joey Silva blocked the punt, which bounced out of the end zone for a safety. Greenville took advantage of the free kick and chewed up six minutes and 16 seconds on the drive that culminated in Stull’s last touchdown. A mix of time-consuming offensive drives and solid defense finished off Northwestern, leaving the final score 37-23.