Friday, August 12, 2022
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ETSU Dominates in Home Opener

Greene Stadium welcomes record-setting crowd

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – ETSU football opened the 2021 home slate with a bang, dominating UVA Wise in a 45-14 rout in front of a record-setting crowd at William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium. The Bucs lit up the scoreboard in front of a raucous crowd of 9,720 occupants. With the win, the Bucs improve to 2-0 to begin the season for just the second time since the return of football in 2015.

ETSU did not suffer the “big-win hangover” from the Vanderbilt victory, owning all facets of the game for the second consecutive week. The Bucs accounted for 528 yards of offense, including 274 yards in the air.

The Buccaneer offense shined in game two, led by junior tailback Jacob Saylors (Jasper, Ga.) who finished the game with 173 all-purpose yards. Saylors accounted for 75 rushing yards and 75 receiving yards with two touchdowns to his credit. The Buccaneer ground attack finished the game with 254 yards as four different running backs finished with over 40 yards apiece. Bryson Irby (Douglasville, Ga.) and Trey Foster (Knoxville, Tenn.) saw significant action in the game, combining for 18 carries and 87 yards.

ETSU overcame a sluggish start thanks to a 64-yard connection between Tyler Riddell (Tampa, Fla.) and Saylors that pushed ETSU to a 14-0 lead, beginning the steamroll of the offense.

The Buccaneer defense continued to flex its muscles with 61 total tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. Tyree Robinson (Gainesville, Ga.) put the Bucs in position to score the game’s first touchdown with a 22-yard interception return to the UVA Wise 3-yard line, with Quay Holmes (Powder Springs, Ga.) punching the ball into the endzone on the very next play. Mike Price (Stockbridge, Ga.) continued the intensity for the Bucs with a game-high 10 tackles.


First Quarter

  • ETSU 7, UVA Wise 0: Quay Holmes recorded his first touchdown of the season with a three-yard punch following Robinson’s interception.
  • ETSU 14, UVA Wise 0: Jacob Saylors found the endzone for the first time this season following a 64-yard screen pass from Riddell to double the Buccaneer lead, capping off a 4-play, 74-yard drive.

Second Quarter

  • ETSU 21, UVA Wise 0: For the second time in the opening half, Holmes found the back of the endzone, this time a 12-yard rush up the gut for the 21-point advantage.
  • ETSU 21, UVA Wise 6: Dobyns-Bennett graduate Lendon Redwine found Devin Heckstall for a 13-yard touchdown pass to put the Cavaliers on the board midway through the second quarter.
  • ETSU 28, UVA Wise 6: ETSU saw a fourth consecutive touchdown by a running back as Saylors found the endzone for a second time, this time a rushing touchdown. Saylors capped off a 50-yard drive with a 16-yard scamper to the left pylon for the score.
  • ETSU 31, UVA Wise 6: ETSU pushed its lead to 25 points after Tyler Keltner knocked in his first field goal inside Greene Stadium this season, a 26-yard field goal that split the uprights.

Third Quarter

  • ETSU 38, UVA Wise 6: For the second consecutive game, Malik Murray and Tyler Riddell connected for a redzone touchdown with an 8-yard strike early in the quarter.
  • ETSU 38, UVA Wise 14: The Cavaliers ended the third quarter with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Redwine to Heckstall, capitalizing on the two-point conversion following the score.

Fourth Quarter

  • ETSU 45, UVA Wise 14: The final touchdown of the game belonged to the Blue & Gold with Will Huzzie earning his first touchdown of the season, a 14-yard fade route from Brock Landis.


  • ETSU saw a new record 9,720 fans enter the gates of Greene Stadium on Saturday night – this is the fifth time that Greene Stadium has held over 9,000 fans in a single game.
  • With the win, the Bucs claim their sixth consecutive home opener – including 2016 when the Bucs defeated Western Carolina at Bristol Motor Speedway.
  • Following the win, ETSU is 2-0 for the first time since 2016 when the Blue & Gold began the season with wins over Kennesaw State and Western Carolina.
  • ETSU’s 528 yards of offense is the most by a Buccaneer squad since recording 541 in the triple-overtime win over Western Carolina in 2018.
  • Jacob Saylors led the Bucs with 75 yards on six carries and one touchdown, finishing the game with a career-high 173 all-purpose yards.
  • Redshirt-freshman quarterback Tyler Riddell finished the game 13-of-18 for 201 yards and two touchdowns – his 64-yard connection with Saylors was the longest passing play of his collegiate career.
  • Will Huzzie (Duluth, Ga.) finished the game with a team-high six receptions for 84 yards and one touchdown.
  • For the second consecutive game, Malik Murray (Duluth, Ga.) recorded one receiving touchdown, finishing with 58 yards on three receptions.
  • Quay Holmes is now only nine yards shy of passing Brian Edwards for the second-most rushing yards in ETSU history (2,930).
  • With Keltner’s 26-yard field goal, the Florida native moves into solo fifth all-time in career field goals made with 25.
  • ETSU finished 6-of-7 in redzone chances in the win on Saturday night.
  • For the second consecutive outing, the Bucs won the turnover battle with two interceptions compared to one from the Cavaliers.
  • Tyree Robinson and Jalen Porter (Gallatin, Tenn.) collected one interception apiece, the first career interception for Porter.


The Bucs will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 18 when ETSU welcomes the Delaware State Hornets into town. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and fans are strongly encouraged to wear gold for the annual GOLD OUT game.

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