Sewanee falls short on comeback attempt on Family Weekend

The Sewanee Tigers make an excellent catch. Photo courtesy of

By Harry Davis
Staff Writer

On Saturday, September 21, the Sewanee Tigers lost to the Birmingham-Southern Panthers 49-30 on Family Weekend.

Last year, the Tigers lost to the Panthers 13-10 on a game winning field goal early in the fourth quarter. This year, Birmingham-Southern started with a record of one win and one loss with a 45-13 win against Huntingdon College last week. In last week’s win, the Panthers accounted for 450 yards of offense which included over 300 yards of rushing offense. Sewanee looked to contain this explosive rushing attack after a tough loss to Washington and Lee last week.

The Panthers first drive started with promise as they progressed to the Sewanee 24-yard line before the Tiger’s Wesley Porter (C’21) intercepted a pass at the Sewanee 18-yard line. The Tiger’s offense stalled out on the Birmingham-Southern 41-yard line, on the Panthers next drive they scored to make the lead seven to zero. Birmingham-Southern scored on their next three drives to make their halftime lead 28-0.

To start the third quarter, the Tigers drove to the Panthers 24-yard line for a field goal from Brody Palmer (C’23) and the Panthers scored on five play 60-yard drive to expand the lead to 35-3. At this point, the game seemed to be out of reach for the Tigers as they entered the fourth quarter down 32 but as the fourth quarter progressed it was clear that this Sewanee team still had fight left in them.

On the first full drive of the fourth quarter, the Sewanee offense drove down the field as Alex Darras (C’20) threw a 13-yard pass to Cyrus McCullough (C’21) for the touchdown. On the first play of Birmingham-Southern’s next drive Porter returned an interception 58-yards for the touchdown to bring the score to 35-17. On the following kickoff, Sewanee recovered an onside kick but the Tigers offense had a quick four play drive followed by a punt. The Panthers scored on the ensuing possession to push their lead to 42-17.

But again, the Tigers would not give up as Darras lead the Tigers down the field on an 89-yard drive capped off by a 30-yard pass to McCullough but missed the two-point conversion. Birmingham-Southern’s next drive was two plays as they scored on a 46-yard rush to again change the lead to 49-23. Sewanee began their last drive with just over three minutes left in the game and marched down the field on another long, 88-yard drive completed with a seven yard pass to Colin May (C’21) to make the final score 49-30.

Although not the result the Tigers wanted, they outscored the Panthers 30-21 in the second half. Overall, the Tiger’s offense was still productive despite failing to score in the first half as they had 24 first downs to the Panthers 21, and 459 yards of total offense to the Panthers 573.

The Tigers will go on the road to play at Rhodes on Saturday, September 28, before they return home to play Berry on Saturday, October 5.