Bulldogs pick up vital win against The Citadel during Family Weekend



Collin Reese, Sports Writer

After having suffered consecutive losses to Georgia and Western Carolina over the past two weeks, Samford came into their matchup this past Saturday with The Citadel desperately looking for a victory and trying to avoid slipping out of the Top 25. A victory in front of a packed Seibert Stadium for Family Weekend would not come easily though, as The Citadel came in ranked as the 11th best team in the country according to the FCS polls. Samford needed to get off to a quick start if they were to take the win from the “Bulldogs from Charleston.”

They did exactly that, as the scoring started early in the first quarter. Junior quarterback Devlin Hodges found junior receiver Kelvin McKnight for a touchdown with 14 minutes left in the first quarter to open up the scoring at 7-0 in favor of the “Bulldogs from Birmingham.” After the first touchdown, Hodges and the Samford offense never looked back.

Offensively, Samford was rolling all afternoon, jumping out to a 28-0 lead to end the first quarter. Devlin Hodges connected with Yassar El-Amin for a 70-yard touchdown strike to extend the lead to 14-0 with 11:56 left in the first quarter. Moise Satine scampered into the end zone on a 10-yard run to up the score to 21-0 with 9:40 left in the opening period, while Hodges added a touchdown run of his own to set the score at 28-0 to end the first quarter. The score going into the locker room at halftime was 35-7 in favor of Samford. Both defenses played strong in the second half, as the only points scored in the second half was a Citadel touchdown on the ground with 8:41 left to go in the third quarter. When time ran out to end to the game, Samford came away with a much needed 35-14 victory as they enter into the heart of their schedule.

Hodges had an efficient day passing, completing 21 of 26 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns. In this game, Hodges set the school’s all-time record for completions at 706. The Bulldogs starting quarterback is also just eight yards shy of setting the school’s all-time record for passing yards in a career, set by Ray Nelson from 2001 to 2004.

“It’s a huge win,” said Devlin Hodges. “Coach [Hatcher] put in a good game plan for us, everybody bought into the gameplan and we came out with some juice. I’m so proud of our guys.”

Junior receiver Kelvin McKnight led Samford’s receivers with six catches for 97 yards and a single touchdown. The entire Bulldog’s receiving core had a productive afternoon, as sophomore receiver Yassar El-Amin caught four passes for 83 yards and a touchdown, while TaDarryl Marshall caught two passes for 64 yards and a touchdown on the day. Freshman receiver/running back Moise Satine carried the ball 12 times for 73 yards and a touchdown for the afternoon, sparking the Bulldog’s ground game to counter The Citadel’s tough defense.

For the “Bulldogs from Charleston,” sophomore quarterback Jordan Black completed five of 11 passes on the day for 136 yards through the air. Black also added 60 yards and a touchdown on the ground, rushing the ball 16 times in the game. Freshman running back Brandon Rainey added 59 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries in the game.

“We had a great game plan,” said defensive lineman Ahmad Gooden who ended the game with a team-high 12 tackles. “[With] an option team they’re going to get some good plays, but had to just be a gritter defense and set the tone out there.”

The win also helped to preserve their nine-game winning streak at Seibert Stadium dating back to 2015. Samford travels to Lexington, Virginia next weekend to take on conference foe VMI at 12:30 p.m. (CT). Be sure to catch the Bulldogs in action over the next several weeks as they take on the Wofford Terriers on Saturday, Oct. 21, on the road, and the Chattanooga Mocs on Saturday, Oct. 28 at home. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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