PEMBROKE The UNC Pembroke defense forced four Davidson turnovers and held the Wildcats scoreless in the second half in a 21-9 victory over the Wildcats Saturday evening.
With UNCP leading 14-9 early in the fourth quarter, Pembroke defensive back Caylon Hann intercepted a pass by Davidson quarterback Ryan Alexander, giving the Braves the ball on the Davidson 32 yard line.
Cory Smith scrambled 21 yards, and on the next play hit Brandon McLaurin with a TD pass to make the score 21-9 with 12:31 to play.
Davidson came back with its own drive, keyed by two third-down conversions on passes from Alexander to Mark Hanabury. But on 4th-and-goal from the seven, Alexander's pass to Myles Potter fell short of the goal line.
“You can't turn the ball over four times and expect to win; I'm not sure anybody can,” said Davidson coach Tripp Merritt.
“We've got to look at this game and find out what we can do better. You have to give credit to Pembroke. They played a great game and have really come a long way in a year.”
Alexander finished the game with 237 yards on 28-of-38 passing but had three picked off. Kirk Konert had 10 receptions for 85 yards, and Hanabury had five catches for 47 yards.
Daniel Astrop and Daniel Hauffe each led the Davidson defense with nine tackles and a tackle for loss. Tyler Lemons had eight tackles, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.
Davidson's only touchdown came after Konert, who also punts for the Wildcats, pinned the Braves on their own 1-yard line with a 49-yard punt.
On 3rd-and-6, Brandon Giles tipped a pass and intercepted the ball at the 1-yard line. Chad Barnes ran it in on the next play, but an attempted two-point conversion failed.
Davidson sophomore Ben Behrendt made it 9-0 with a 47-yard field goal on his first career attempt.
Game Notes: It was the first night game at Grace P. Johnson Stadium in its two-year history... Davidson fell to 54-51-5 in season openers, including 3-6 in this decade... Will Funderburg made his 31st career start, while Alexander made his 28th... It was the least points Davidson has scored since a 16-9 loss to Lenoir-Rhyne at home in 2005.