The following is a press release from Samford University Athletics:
Karel Hamilton became Samford’s all-time leader in career receiving yards as the 20th-ranked Bulldog football team earned a 30-17 Southern Conference win over Western Carolina Saturday night at Seibert Stadium.
With the win, Samford improves to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in Southern Conference play. The 6-1 start is the best start after seven games for Samford since 1992. Western Carolina falls to 1-6 overall and 0-5 in league play.
“I’m really proud of our team,” Samford head coach Chris Hatcher said. “Western Carolina matches up extremely well with us. All week I’ve had a sneaky feeling that it was going to be a very tight ballgame. They are very athletic and they match up well with us.”
Hamilton caught 16 passes for 208 yards in the win. He now has 3,166 receiving yards in his career, breaking the previous record of 3,054 set by Efrem Hill from 2001 to 2004. Hamilton’s 16 catches were just one short of tying a school single-game record.
“He had a huge night,” Hatcher said of Hamilton. “We needed him to break the record tonight. He is a tremendous player.”
Quarterback Devlin Hodges completed 32-of-49 passes for 375 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Kelvin McKnight caught 10 passes for 99 yards for the Bulldogs. K’rondis Larry led the running game, rushing 22 times for a career-high 167 yards.
On defense for Samford, Jamerson Blount led the way with 10 tackles, including seven solo stops. Omari Williams had an interception for the Bulldogs.
Western Carolina was led by quarterback Tyrie Adams, completing 17-of-31 passes for 122 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Shamon Elliott led the Catamount defense with 11 tackles, including eight solo tackles.
Samford put its first points on the scoreboard on its second offensive drive of the game. Hodges connected with Hamilton for a 36-yard touchdown to give Samford a 7-0 lead with 7:02 left in the opening period. Western Carolina tied the game when Fred Payne intercepted a Hodges pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown to knot the score at 7-7 with 42 seconds left in the first quarter.
Samford took the lead back midway through the second quarter. Reece Everett kicked a 31-yard field goal to give Samford a 10-7 lead with 8:57 left in the second quarter. Everett later made a 21-yard field goal to make the score 13-7 with 4:12 to go in the second quarter.
On Samford’s first possession of the third quarter, Hodges hit Hamilton for a 20-yard touchdown to push Samford’s lead to 20-7 with 12:40 left in the quarter. WCU’s Logan Howard kicked a 25-yard field goal to cut the lead to 20-10 with 6:37 to go in the period.
Hodges added a running touchdown when he scored from one-yard out to make the score 27-10 with 1:46 left in the third quarter.
Everett kicked a 36-yard field goal with 5:28 left in the game to make the score 30-10. WCU’s Adams hit Terryon Robinson for a nine-yard touchdown with 1:39 to go in the contest to make the final score 30-17.
As a team, Samford tallied 590 yards of total offense, to 255 for Western Carolina. The Bulldogs had 31 first downs, to just 15 for the Catamounts.
Samford will return to action next Saturday, Oct. 29, when the Bulldogs play at Mississippi State. The game is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff, and the contest will be televised on the SEC Network.
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