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Emory & Henry Football Preview – Week Three: Maryville

Emory & Henry Football Preview – Week Three: Maryville

EMORY, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Football Team (1-1, 0-0 ODAC) is coming off a much needed victory over Brevard College (0-2, 0-0 SAC) last week. The Wasps came out firing with nearly 500 yards of total offense, which led to the 28-14 victory. E&H's defense also did a great job making stops at key points in the game and limited the Tornados on big plays. The victory over Brevard bookmarks the first meeting between the two schools. This week, the Wasps take on the Scots of Maryville College (1-1, 0-0 USA South).

Series History
Emory & Henry holds a 42-26-2 series record over Maryville, winning three of the four matchups since the series was revived in 2013. Last year the Maryville defeated E&H, 30-13. The Wasps outgained the Scots on offense, 327-294, but the four turnovers and 11 penalties for 111 yards proved to be major factors in the result. Taking care of the ball will be paramount to earning a win on Saturday.

Emory & Henry
A look at sophomore running back Sam Wagner (Marion, Va.) suggests a short-down or goal line-back, but the 5-10, 235-pounder has proven to be much more than that thus far. Wagner leads the Wasps with 182 yards and three touchdowns, including a 54-yard scamper last week, which showed off his speed. Wagner, along with the other talented running backs, have an efficient offensive line to run behind. At the heart of that line is sophomore center Nathan Harris (Roanoke, Va.), who leads the Wasps with six pancake blocks and has not allowed a sack.

In the passing game, sophomore wideout Jesse Santiago (Yorktown, Va.) has quickly become the top target for junior quarterback Kevin Saxton (Monroe, N.C.). Santiago leads the Wasps in targets (17), receptions (13), yards (201), yards per catch (15.5), and touchdowns (three). Against Brevard, the William & Mary transfer caught seven balls for 115 yards and two scores.

Defensively, the Wasps have been getting to the quarterback at a high rate. Despite playing two teams that primarily employ a rushing offense, the defense has amassed six sacks. Currently leading the team in tackles is senior linebacker Rhasheen Williams (Charlotte, N.C.) with 17 on the year. His fellow starting linebackers, senior Josh Compton (Richlands, Va.) and sophomore Brad Puccio (Murphy, N.C.) have ten and four tackles, respectively. Last week, the Wasps racked up eight tackles for a loss, three fumble recoveries, and three sacks in the huge non-conference win.

Maryville has been a passing team throughout the course of this season. Quarterback Nick Myers has been accurate thus far, evidenced by his 72.9% completion percentage, but his four interceptions prove there is room for the senior to improve. The Scots' leading receiver, Mac Seagle, has six catches for 216 yards on the year, but no player has run for more than 70 yards. Defensively, the Scots only give up 289 yards per game and have already forced seven turnovers.   

Kickoff for the 71st meeting in the series is at 1:30 p.m., at Lloyd L. Thornton Stadium in Maryville, Tennessee.