The 2011 season for the Greenville College Panthers (7-4, 7-2 UMAC) ended in defeat Saturday. The Panthers fell in a defensive battle to the Campbellsville University Tigers (7-5, 3-2 MSC) 21-7.
Five turnovers were not enough for the Panthers to be victorious in the 2011 National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Victory Bowl. In a reversal of roles, it was the Panther defense that provided the big plays on Saturday.
Interceptions by SR Safety Andy Lozano (Desert Hot Springs, CA) and SO LB Cody Lopez (Bonita, CA) ended potential scoring drives for Campbellsville. The Panthers defense also forced 4 Tiger fumbles recovering 3.
Although it turned into a defense battle, it appeared early that the Victory Bowl would be a Kentucky-style shootout.
The game began with a couple of quick scores by both teams. The Tigers used a trick play to score on the second play from scrimmage. The 58 yard double pass would be the only touchdown the Panther defense would concede all day.
Greenville would not wait long to answer. The ensuing kickoff was returned 86 yards by FR WR Tre' Lewis (Belleville, IL).
That was the end of the "shoot-out".
The next score wouldn't come until 2:34 left in the second quarter. A 52 yard run by SO QB Brendan Chambers (San Clemente, CA) put the Panthers on the Tiger 21 yard line. After a one yard run, Chambers errant pitch was recovered and returned 82 yards for the second Campbellsville score of the day.
The second half scoring began in the third quarter, when a 12 play 73 yard Tiger drive ended with a 19 yard FG, making the score 17-7 in Campbellsville favor.
The Tiger defense scored next, tackling SO RB Bryce Wright (Peoria, AZ) in the end zone for a safety.
The final score came when the Panthers faced a fourth down on their own 2 yard line. Greenville called for the punter to take a knee in the end zone. This prevented the Tigers from making it a three score game.
It was all for not as the Panthers could not muster a Victory Bowl comeback.
Offensively Chambers combined for 121 total yards. SR WR Ryan Boezeman (Demott, IN) Caught 4 passes for 19 yards.
The Panther defense was led by SR LB Kiso Faletufuga (San Diego, CA). The final game of his career was quite possibly his best. He finished with 14 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery.
FR DL DeMarcus Green (East St. Louis, IL) had an incredible game as well. The nose guard had 12 tackles, 1 sack and 4 tackles for loss. In addition to his interception Lopez had 12 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. Lozano added 8 tackles,1 tackle for loss and 2 pass breakups to his interception.
This loss ended the Panthers 7 game winning streak and the 2011 season.
The next game for the Panthers is their 2012 opener Saturday September 8th against Millikin University.