GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – In a game riddled with turnovers, the Pioneers out-lasted the top team in the SAC, 29-27, with a two-point conversion in the second overtime period on Saturday.
The 25th-ranked threw three interceptions and fumbled twice in the loss, despite out-gaining the home squad on offense, 356-317.
A low-scoring affair saw Mars Hill grab a 14-0 lead in the third quarter, as quarterback JR Martin converted on a one-yard run.
Tusculum responded with a 25-yard Matthew Palazzo pass to Lanadrick Bradley, cutting the deficit to 14-7. In the fourth quarter, Jermaine Witherspoon scooped up one of the Lions’ fumbles for a 23-yard touchdown, evening the score at 14-14.
Both teams scored and kicked an extra point on the opening series of overtime.
Mars Hill scored in the second overtime on a rushing touchdown from Martin, however the two-point conversion pass failed. It left the door open for Palazzo and a potential upset.
The Chuckey-Doak products scored with his legs from two yards out to knot the game, 27-27. For the conversion, Kemani Brown hit Zaron Collins in the endzone to seal the deal, 29-27.
Palazzo completed 25-of-48 passes for 219 yards, two interceptions and two touchdowns, while also leading the team in rushing with just 30 yards.
The Lions’ Martin aired it out for 258 yards and a touchdown, while scoring two more with his legs in the loss.
The Tusculum defense tallied five sacks, including a pair from Dajavon Whilte. Witherspoon, Ryan Dolce and Wesley Scott led the tackling effort with seven each.
Tusculum (6-4, 6-2 SAC) closes its season on Senior Day against Lenoir-Rhyne next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.
OTHER SAC SCORES:
Emory & Henry 56, Erskine 14
Carson-Newman 52, UVA Wise 7