SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After five years apart, the Presbyterian College football team and the Wofford Terriers will rekindle a historic South Carolina feud this weekend as the Blue Hose visit Spartanburg for a 6:00 PM kick.
Saturday’s feature will be streamed live on ESPN+, as PC closes the door on its three-game pre-PFL trajectory by meeting with Wofford for the 86th occasion in a series that has lived to see over 100 years.
Running away with a 48-17 victory over Virginia-Lynchburg in the 2023 Bailey Memorial Stadium opener, head coach Steve Englehart’s unit will look to achieve the school’s first W against the Terriers since 1994 (a 10-7 grind-it-out triumph in Spartanburg) while also searching to snap a seven-game losing skid in the squads’ protracted past.
WHAT: Presbyterian (1-1) at Wofford (0-2)
WHERE: Gibbs Stadium (Spartanburg, S.C.)
WHEN: Saturday, September 16 – 6:00 PM
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LIVE STATS: SideArm Live Stats
Mastery at the Line of Scrimmage
non-conference tune-up for both sides.
Around the PFL
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Punctuating a 76-yard game-winning touchdown drive with under half a minute on the clock to procure a thrilling road victory over Wofford on Saturday night, the Presbyterian College football team silenced the home side of the stands at Gibbs Stadium in a 23-20 heartstopper.
Soaring to the win behind herculean performances by sophomore quarterback Tyler Wesley and senior tight end Worth Warner, the Blue Hose obtained their first win against the Terriers since 1994. PC collected 405 yards of total offense, notching 13 points in the second half (none sweeter than Wesley’s dagger to Warner with 28 ticks on the clock).
The second win in a row for second-year head coach Steve Englehart, Saturday’s determined W brings the blue and garnet to their BYE week on a mountain of momentum.
Both Warner and Wesley put up career-best outings in front of a rambunctious crowd of nearly 4,000. The renewal of a century-long feud that had been on hold for the past five seasons, Presby’s eleventh-hour stunner signifies the biggest win in the school’s brief time associated with the Pioneer Football League.
FINAL SCORE – Presbyterian, 23 – Wofford, 20
RECORDS – Presbyterian (2-1) – Wofford (0-3)
LOCATION – Gibbs Stadium (Spartanburg, S.C.)
- Launching 281 yards with his arm and adding an extra 28 on the ground for good measure, Wesley surpassed his individual best in total yardage that was submitted seven days earlier in a 31-point smashing of Virginia-Lynchburg.
- As spectacular as Englehart’s second-year star was in Spartanburg, Warner shone perhaps even brighter by hauling in 117 yards on seven grabs beside his game-winner. The Raleigh native calculated two 30-yarders against the Terriers and converted a do-or-die 4th-and-10 for an 18-yard scamper to paydirt as time dwindled for the opponent.
- In just his third game with the program, transfer safety Anthony Thornton remained a pest all night long with 10 tackles. Malek Horlback and Alex Herriott synced up for 12 at six each as PC stymied Wofford to a 5-of-14 conversion rate on third-down situations.
- Punting only three times and receiving a mere two penalties in the entire 60-minute window, the Blue Hose stayed in front of their Palmetto rival for nearly the entire bout until trailing by four and later seven in the early stages of the last stanza.
- That’s when PC’s perseverance took over and allotted them a 10-point come-from-behind 4thquarter. During the final series that chewed up nearly six minutes, Wesley and co. converted a trio of fourth-downs on their way to delivering the final blow.
- Continuing to turn heads by his efficiency during his debut semester in Clinton, Mack Mikko was an instrumental piece in assembling the three-point triumph. He would split the uprights from 41, 32, and 37 yards away in three consecutive quarters to help PC stay in front and eventually seize the W.
HOW IT HAPPENED – FIRST HALF
- It took a single snap for Presbyterian to put points on the board after a missed field goal try from the Terriers on the opening possession, with Englehart drawing up a flea flicker to a wide open Deverious Abercrombie for a 66-yard touchdown. The second career catch for the Greenville, SC product, it would be the first of dozens of highlights later to come.
- A bone-crunching sack from Horlback, the third of his promising career, gave the ball right back to the Blue Hose in short order. Deciding to punt near midfield, Englehart brought Ezra King into the mix for the first time in 2023, a former Wofford Terrier himself.
- King promptly pinpointed a perfect boot inside Wofford’s 10-yard line, a 40-yarder that prevented the home side from making any noise with undesirable field position.
- PC ended quarter number one with the 7-0 edge, expanded upon after Mikko hit on a 41-yarder early in the second. That kick was the first made field goal from at least 40 yards away by any Blue Hose player since 2017.
- Wofford finally concocted an answer to the 10-0 hole with a 3rd-down quarterback draw that ended up advancing 70 yards to the house. Englehart’s club looked to respond with another FG attempt from Mikko, although the Terriers’ D inserted their way past the line of scrimmage and deflected the projectile.
- Unable to follow-up on the opportunistic special teams play with a three-and-out, Wofford assumed another fortuitous outcome when an errant snap on a PC punt formation led to an interception. Presby’s defense protected the end zone, however, and limited their Palmetto neighbor to a game-tying field goal instead of other designs on six points.
HOW IT HAPPENED – SECOND HALF
- That 10-10 deadlock remained until halftime, although the Blue Hose weren’t willing to surrender the advantage just yet thanks to a 33-yard laser to Jordan Irizarry and a 17-yard burst from JB Seay that set up Mikko for his second make of the evening on the first series of the 3rd.
- The elusive lead that had escaped Wofford to that point became a reality after an 11-play, 56-yard drive that wrapped on a 2-yard leap to the end zone. Presbyterian would play catch-up from there until the aforementioned late-game magic.
- A truly tumultuous last chapter began with the Blue Hose again performing exquisitely with their backs against the wall, keeping the deficit to a single score at 20-13 by forcing the Terriers to go for a field goal at the six-yard line.
- From there, another Mikko connection from 37 whittled the lead down to four. It would be the last time that the Blue Hose were content on red zone trips with only three points as a consolation.
- Hoping to play a bit of keep-away and deter PC from getting a chance at the victory, Wofford whimpered to a pair of three-and-outs in their last two drives, opening the door for an anxious but ultimately euphoric closing sequence.
- Time and time again in the 76-yard journey that started with 5:43 on the board, the Blue Hose seemed as if defeat was imminent until Wesley pulled out the proverbial lifejacket. The first of these instances was on a 4th-and-10 close to midfield where the improvising QB vanished from a crowd and dove past the line to gain.
- For the second straight time, a scramble from Wesley got the job done with a must-reach destination of 10 yards ahead.
- Following numerous timeouts from both sidelines that further dramatized the moment, a fourth-and-six sling to Warner’s hands was Wofford’s demise on the night.
- PC will have an extra week to enjoy the ecstatic aftermath of Saturday’s win with an upcoming BYE on the horizon. Once the resting period closes, the Blue Hose will make a first-time-ever visit to Indianapolis for an encounter against Butler on the final day of September.
SAINT LOUIS, Mo. – Less than 24 hours after the Presbyterian College Football team catapulted a monumental victory over Wofford in Spartanburg, true freshman kicker Mack Mikko was selected by the Pioneer Football League as the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week.
Announced on Sunday afternoon by league officials, Mikko becomes the eighth Blue Hose to earn a weekly accolade from the PFL and the first in 24 months. He was chosen for the honor after connecting on three field goals and contributing 11 total points to PC’s 23-20 triumph against the Terriers.
In the latest chapter of a longstanding Palmetto rivalry between the two programs separated by less than an hour, Mikko split the uprights from distances of 41, 32, and 37 yards in three consecutive quarters. An instrumental piece to Presbyterian’s first win over Wofford since 1994, the newbie has bumped up his season total to six made FG’s in only three appearances.
Saturday’s last-second win officially goes down as the first-ever W for a PFL school going head-to-head with a SoCon representative, while simultaneously snapping a 12-game road losing streak that the Blue Hose had endured prior to the weekend.
The first of Mikko’s three hits came at the 14:06 stamp in the second period, allotting PC a 10-0 advantage on a season-long 41-yarder. That make would be the first time that a Blue Hose player struck from at least 40 yards away since the 2017 campaign.
Once the Terriers managed to regroup and trudge their way to a 10-all tie at halftime, Mikko and co. regained the advantage during the opening drive of the third period, this one from 32 yards out.
Part of a 10-point final frame for the Blue Hose after starting the 4th down by four, Mikko connected on a 37-yard try with 9:55 left to go that kept head coach Steve Englehart’s squad knocking on the door.
The game was later firmly won on a remarkable 76-yard touchdown drive that wrapped with 28 seconds on the clock, a series where PC converted three separate fourth-down situations to stun the Terriers in jaw-dropping fashion.
A native of Newnan, Georgia, Mikko made history at Gibbs Stadium by becoming the first Presbyterian kicker to formulate three made field goals in the same contest since October of 2010 (a 26-24 decision that toppled Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs).
Still riding high on the elation from Saturday’s triumph, the Blue Hose will now enter their BYE week before a season-closing eight-game streak of only league bouts.
The first of that sequence will kick off on September 30 when PC makes the northern trip to Indianapolis to duel with Butler for the first time in program history.