From Averett Athletics:
DANVILLE, Va. — Averett scored 17 points in the final quarter, but the Cougars couldn't overcome an early deficit in a 41-33 home loss to USA South Conference foe Methodist University on a misty Saturday afternoon at the Cougar Den.
To see the entire box score CLICK HERE.
Although Averett (1-5, 0-3 USA South) found itself down 34-16 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Cougars kept battling. Sophomore Nathan Driver scored on a 4-yard touchdown run early in the period, and Averett cut Methodist's lead down to 34-26 on sophomore Hobie Proctor's 24-yard field goal midway through the quarter, giving the Cougars momentum.
Methodist (4-2, 2-1 USA South) stole it back on its next possession as quarterback Max Reber hit Blake Scott for a 55-yard touchdown pass to put the Monarchs back in front 41-26 with 5:01 to play. Yet, Averett didn't go away. The Cougars marched back down the field as freshman quarterback Cinco Simmons found sophomore receiver Adaryal Jones Jr. for a 30-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline, pulling Averett back within eight points with 3:57 to play.
With all three timeouts remaining, Averett elected to kick the ball deep and let its defense try to stop Methodist. After the Monarchs got one first down, it appeared as though Averett got a bounce its way. On second-and-8, Averett sophomore linebacker Donald Redding stripped the ball from Darius Page's grip and the Cougars recovered the loose ball. However, the officials ruled that Page was down before the ball was fumbled. Methodist got one more first down before eventually punting the ball with 44 seconds to play.
Averett had one final chance to try to tie the game. The Cougars began their final drive on their own 24-yard line with 38 seconds to play and no timeouts, but couldn't get anything going. With the Cougars near midfield, the game ended with a 10-second run off after an Averett false start penalty.
Methodist's rushing attack finished with 412 yards on the ground as Reber, Page and Marquies Hall each finished with more than 100 yards rushing.
Despite the loss, Averett turned in one of its better performances of the season, especially in the second half. The Cougars trailed 27-10 at halftime after struggling to find an answer for Methodist's offense. Yet, after several adjustments at the break, the Cougars looked like a different team on both sides of the ball following halftime.
Simmons finished with 305 passing yards and two touchdowns on 20-of-31 passing and no interceptions. He became the first Cougar to throw for more than 300 yards since Shan Fairbanks threw for 303 yards against Guilford College on Sept. 15, 2007. Jones, who was Simmons' favorite target, finished with six catches for 127 yards and a touchdown to turn in Averett's first 100-yard receiving performance since 2011.
Methodist jumped out to a 13-o lead in the first quarter before Averett got on the scoreboard with Proctor's 39-yard field goal with 2:52 left in the quarter. Methodist added another rushing touchdown just before the end of the period, and added another touchdown to go ahead 27-3 with 5:32 left in the second quarter. Averett closed the gap to 27-10 on sophomore Brenden Hughes' 44-yard touchdown pass from Simmons.
Hughes added a 4-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter on a pass from junior quarterback Kirkland Brown on a fake field goal attempt.
The Cougars finished with a season-high 483 yards of total offense.
Redding led Averett's defense with 10 total tackles, while senior Stefen Varner finished with nine tackles.
Averett returns to action next Saturday at Ferrum College at 1 p.m.