By Nader Hussein
Shenandoah University’s football team ended a two-game losing streak Saturday, as they defeated the Catholic University of America Cardinals 34-17. This victory lifted the Hornets to a 4-2 record, after starting the season with three straight wins. Those wins against Gallaudet, Ferrum and North Carolina Wesleyan marked the first time in the program’s 15-year history that they have started the season with a 3-0 record.
“It’s a great feeling, it’s an exciting feeling,” said junior wide receiver Qlyl Middelijn. “It’s always great to make history and be a part of a team that will be remembered for something.”
After their quick start, the Hornets hit a bit of a slump with back-to-back losses to rivals Bridgewater College in the homecoming game and Guilford College. Both losses were high-scoring affairs, with Shenandoah giving up more than 35 points in both games.
“As a unit, we lost focus,” explained Middelijn. “We might’ve gotten a little cocky and gotten big heads after starting the season 3-0.”
The Hornets responded with a decisive victory over Catholic, in a game that saw two SU quarterbacks throw touchdowns and two running backs gain 90 or more yards rushing.
Freshman quarterback Hayden Bauserman threw two first quarter interceptions, which saw him replaced temporarily by sophomore Travis Barton Jr. with about eight minutes left in the first quarter. Bauserman was restored in the second quarter and played the remainder of the game.
The play of the game came with less than four minutes left in the game, when senior running back Kye Hopkins pulled out a 60 yard touchdown run to wrap up the scoring. Hopkins ended with an impressive 90 yards on just three carries, along with junior running back Cedrick Delaney who finished with 136 rushing yards and 81 receiving yards.
“We started the season off strong, now we need to finish it off strong,” Middelijn added, talking about how the Hornets will hope to turn this win into momentum to carry them through the rest of the season.