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Football holds on to defeat Minnesota-Morris

Football holds on to defeat Minnesota-Morris

GREENVILLE, Ill. - The football team wrapped up their regular season with the second place position in the UMAC standings with a narrow 34-33 win over Minnesota-Morris at Francis Field on Saturday. Prior to the game, the Panthers honored 12 seniors - Jacob Hutchinson, Joshua Robinson, Adereio Jones, Brock Bullar, Michael Buckhanna, George Harris, Gavin Jordan, Abias Lowe, Kyler Henson, Scott Woker, Herman Esquivel, and Eric Kranh.

Despite taking the lead late in the first quarter and never relinquishing the lead, Greenville had to hold Morris from completing a two-point conversion after a late touchdown made the score 34-33 with 1:01 remaining.

Facing the conclusion of their season and wanting to end on a high note after a difficult year, Morris put it all on the table and went for the win. A two-point conversion pass was incomplete, Greenville recovered the onside kick, and GU ran out the clock for their eighth win.

Running back Paul Garrett had a stellar game with 172 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns. Garrett scored on runs of 52, 95, and two yards.

Garrett opened the scoring for Greenville with 12:06 remaining in the first quarter on his 52 yard run. Rafael Soares de Castro converted the extra point.

After a pair of touchdowns by Morris gave them a 13-7 lead, Greenville answered with 3:17 remaining in the first quarter when Seth Logan caught a 20 yard touchdown pass from Harris, and Soares de Castro made the extra point.

Christian Moss recorded a one yard touchdown run before the end of the first quarter, and a Soares de Castro kick made the score 21-13.

With 5:05 left in the second quarter, Garrett broke off his 95 yard touchdown run to give Greenville a 28-13 lead at halftime following Soares de Castro's PAT.

Garrett ran into the end zone for the third time with 8:07 left in the third quarter, but the kick was blocked.

Morris outscored Greenville 20-0 in the fourth quarter to make it too close for comfort, but the GU defense came up big with their backs against the wall to take the victory.

The Panthers ended with 440 yards of total offense with a balanced effort of 228 passing and 212 rushing yards.

Harris went 24-of-33 for 228 passing yards and a touchdown pass.

Christian Moss added to Garrett's 172 yards with 51 rushing yards on 16 carries.

Kyler Henson caught 10 passes for 115 yards.

The Panther defense was paced by Gavin Jordan with 10 tackles and four quarterback hurries.

Anthony Esquivel and Bryson Johnson each had two quarterback sacks.

Javion Smith recorded Greenville's interception.

The Panthers (8-2, 7-1 UMAC) will await an invitation to the NCCAA Victory Bowl after becoming bowl-eligible with their eighth victory. Over the 33 seasons of Greenville football, only seven teams have achieved eight victories. Greenville's all-time high of nine wins in a season was achieved in 2013.