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Cinderella Season Ends for ETSU, Wofford Advances

By Robbie Ross
SouthernPigskin.com
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Wofford ground out a hard-fought win over Elon in Spartanburg 19-7 ensuring that the SOCON garners at least one win in the 1-AA/FCS Playoffs every year since 1986.

The Cinderella season for East Tennessee State that saw them win a share of the SOCON Title, win six games by three points or less, and make the NCAA FCS Playoffs for the second time in school history has ended with a 34-27 loss on the road at Jacksonville State. Meanwhile, Wofford ground out a hard-fought win over Elon in Spartanburg 19-7 ensuring that the SOCON garners at least one win in the 1-AA/FCS Playoffs every year since 1986. 

East Tennessee State took a 20-10 lead into halftime over the Gamecocks behind two JJ Jerman field goals, a touchdown reception by Evan Wick and a 60-yard interception return for touchdown by Titus Tucker to end the first quarter.

After the break, Jacksonville State score 24 straight points to take a 34-20 lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Cinderella Bucs weren’t quite finished with the magic that led them to such a special 2018 season. Quarterback Austin Herink marched the Bucs down the field scoring from 10 yards out to cut the Gamecocks lead to 34-27 with five and a half minutes left in the game. After a Jacksonville State punt the Bucs got the ball back in prime field position at their own 46-yard line with 4:22 left in the game. A key fourth and five conversion on 25-yard pass completion from Herink to Quay Holmes, the Bucs had the ball first and goal from the 5-yard line with just under three minutes to play. On the ensuing play Quay Holmes, the SOCON Freshman of the Year, fumbled into the endzone and Jacksonville State recovered for a touchback. Herink led the Bucs with 260 yards passing with a touchdown as the Bucs outgained the Gamecocks 436 to 421.

Jacksonville State advances to the second round to take on 7th seeded Maine next week. East Tennessee State ends their season at 8-4 and SOCON Co-Champions.

Wofford did what Wofford does in the Terriers 19-7 first round win over Elon. The Terriers advance to the second round for the third straight year running the football 59 times for 344 yards while passing for only 20 yards. Luke Carter added four field goals which capped off scoring drives of 13, 11, 8, and 14 plays as the Terriers held the football for 37:11 of the game. The Terriers defense held Elon to just 51 yards on the ground and 260 total yards while forcing two turnovers.

Wofford, SOCON Co-Champions, improve to 9-3 and will advance to take on 4th Seeded and #2 ranked Kennesaw State next Saturday with a berth in the Quarterfinals on the line.

Robbie Ross - Robbie Ross is Southern Pigskin's lead SoCon writer. A 19-year veteran of the Furman Radio Network, Ross also spent time with the Georgia State Radio Network prior to his ventures with Southern Pigskin. He is a voter in the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll.