JACKSONVILLE, Al. (WJHL) – The Buccaneers took a road loss to open the season on Saturday afternoon, as the Gamecocks rolled to a 49-3 victory.
The Blue and Gold got on the board first down in Alabama, driving to the Gamecock five-yard-line. Redshirt freshman Ewan Johnson booted through a 27-yard field goal to put ETSU on top, 3-0.
Jacksonville State went on to score 49 unanswered points, led by their ground attack. Four Gamecocks scored a rushing touchdown on the day, including senior Malik Jackson, who toted the ball 12 times for 100 yards and a score.
Logan Smothers and J’Wan Evans each tallied a pair of rushing touchdowns for the home squad.
ETSU quarterback Tyler Riddell completed 10-of-17 passes for 117 yards and an interception. Baron May came on to replace Riddell late in the second quarter, and he did not return. May threw an interception on his only pass attempt while scampering nine times for -1 yard.
Bryson Irby led the ground attack for the Bucs with 16 carries for 46 yards. Xavier Gaillardetz flashed in the passing game, hauling in three balls for 69 yards.
Chris Hope led the Blue and Gold defense with 12 tackles in the defeat.
ETSU (0-1) will return to Johnson City for its home opener on Saturday, Sept. 9. Kickoff against Carson-Newman is slated for 5:30 p.m.