Davidson sets Division I record with 789 rushing yards and still loses

Sam Cooper
Davidson rushed for a Division I record on Saturday and still lost. (Photo by Lance King/Getty)
Davidson rushed for a Division I record on Saturday and still lost. (Photo by Lance King/Getty)

Davidson set a Division I record for the second time this season on Saturday.

But somehow the Wildcats still lost. Yes, really. Davidson rushed for a ridiculous 789 yards — breaking a single-game rushing record set by Oklahoma in 1988 — and lost 56-52 to San Diego.

Four different Davidson players rushed for at least 150 yards. Wesley Dugger led the way with 231 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries while William Wicks had 199 yards and three scores on 19 tries. Quarterback Tyler Phelps added 159 yards and one TD on 17 rushes and Keylan Brown totaled 150 yards and two TDs on just eight attempts.

In the first quarter alone, Davidson had three rushing touchdowns of at least 80 yards — a 94-yarder from Dugger, a 90-yarder from Wicks and an 80-yard burst from Brown.

In all, the Wildcats went for 789 yards on 73 attempts — a 10.8 yards-per-play average — and seven touchdowns. But it wasn’t enough to win.

Davidson jumped out to a 31-7 lead

After a two-yard Phelps touchdown run early in the second quarter, Davidson’s lead was 31-7. Later in the quarter, it was 38-14.

But San Diego quickly fought its way back with touchdown passes of 71, 42 and 20 yards before the quarter came to a close, cutting the Davidson lead to 38-35.

Davidson was in for a fight. Things were back and forth throughout the second half and the Wildcats took a 52-49 lead with 2:38 to play. However, the defense wasn’t able to come up with a stop. San Diego needed just three plays to go back in front with 1:43 to play.

Davidson’s last drive ended when it turned it over on downs near midfield with 1:08 to play. From there, San Diego, which had 556 passing yards and only 69 rushing yards, ran out the clock to win the game.

Davidson scored 91 points earlier this season

Davidson caught the nation’s attention back in September with a 91-61 victory over Guilford College.

In that game, the Wildcats set FCS records with 964 total yards and 685 rushing yards. In that one, Davidson had five players with at least 81 yards rushing. Dugger again led the way, that time with 186 yards and three touchdowns on 14 attempts.

The 685 rushing yards broke an FCS rushing record set by Missouri State (681 yards vs. Missouri Southern State) back in 1988.

With Saturday’s loss to San Diego, Davidson’s fourth in a row, the Wildcats dropped to 5-5 on the season.

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