JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Samford came out of the gates ready for the season, going up 14-0 after the first quarter, but ETSU buckled down the rest of the way and kicked off the year with a 24-17 win over the Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at Greene Field.
Quay Holmes jumpstarted the offense right before the end of the second quarter with a one-yard score that cut the Buccaneers deficit in half. The redshirt junior running back finished with 125 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
Holmes tied the game up in the third quarter with another one-yard score. Both teams traded field goals with ETSU sophomore kicker Tyler Keltner splitting the uprights on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The SoCon squads battled back and forth until there was about six minutes left in the game. Redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Riddell fired it to the right, finding redshirt sophomore wide receiver Juliun Lane-Price, who sprinted up the sidelines for a 59-yard touchdown.
Riddell tossed for 186 yards and one score on 14 of 25 passes, while Lane-Price was his favorite target with four catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Four Buccaneers were tied for the team lead in tackles with nine (Redshirt senior LB Jared Folks, redshirt sophomore LB Donovan Manuel, redshirt freshman DB Alijah Huzzie, and redshirt sophomore DB Mike Price).
Samford graduate quarterback Chris Oladokun chalked up 222 yards, one touchdown and an interception on 35 of 54 passing. Sophomore wide receiver A.J. Toney hauled in eight balls for 78 yards, while sophomore Jay Stanton led the backs with 62 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries.
The Buccaneers have a bye week before they travel to Wofford on March 6.