Craig putting up huge numbers
by By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
How prolific has LaGrange College quarterback Graham Craig been this season?
Consider that in the third week of the season, in a victory over Greensboro, Craig threw for 344 yards, and that was his lowest passing total of the season.
In six games, Craig has thrown for more than 400 yards three times, and his lowest passing total in the past three games was 397 yards.
Overall this season, Craig has completed 157-of-258 pass attempts, good for a 61-percent completion percentage,and he’s averaging 394 yards per game.
Craig also has 24 touchdown passes, a remarkable average of four per game, and he leads all of NCAA Division III in passing yards and is second in touchdowns.
Last week’s performance against Huntingdon may have been Craig’s best.
In leading the team back from a 37-17 deficit late in the third quarter, Craig completed 24-of-36 passes for 420 yards, and he tied his season high with five touchdowns.
With 2,368 total yards, Craig enjoys a 300-yard lead over the country’s second leading passer, Matt Grimard of Bethany.
Craig’s 24 touchdowns, meanwhile, leaves him just one behind Jonny West of Franklin College.
Craig also leads the country in passing yards per game with 394.7.
Predictably, some of Craig’s receivers are also among the best in Division III.
Sophomore Marsalis Jackson is 30th in the country with 604 receiving yards, and junior Griffon Roelle is fourth in the country with nine touchdowns, and Jackson is nine with eight touchdowns.
In all, six LaGrange College players have at least 11 catches, and Craig has completed passes to 14 different players.
Senior running back Marquius Young, who has 11 catches, said Craig “does an exceptional job getting players in spots and positions so we can all succeed. We’re all comfortable.”
NATIONAL HONOR: Coming off a sensational performance in last week’s win over Huntingdon, LaGrange College freshman linebacker Jordan Chambers was named a member of the D3.football.com team of the week.
That came after Chambers was named the USA South defensive player of the week, and the rookie of the week.
Chambers had 12 tackles in the game, including three tackles for loss, with a pair of sacks.
Chambers is second on the team to Andre Carter with 41 tackles, and he’s also second to Carter with seven tackles for loss.
A LOOK BACK: The Panthers had some tough losses during the 2012 season, but it’s possible no loss stung more than they one they suffered against Methodist.
The Panthers were coming off a pair of huge back-to-back road wins over Christopher Newport and Maryville when they returned home to face Methodist.
At the time, the Panthers were in a tie for first place in the conference at 3-1, and they’d just beaten two of the conference’s best teams.
For much of the game, it looked like the Panthers were about to make it three in a row, but after taking a late 23-13 lead, they ended up losing 26-23 in overtime.
A Will Jeffcoat field goal with 7:18 remaining gave the Panthers a 23-13 lead.
The Monarchs responded with a 91-yard drive to get within three, and after stopping the Panthers on a fourth-down play, they drove down for the tying field goal, which came as time expired.
The Panthers didn’t score on their first possession in overtime, and the Monarchs got a 23-yard field goal from Cody Ausherman to tie it.
That was the start of a three-game losing streak to end the season for the Panthers.
LaGrange College will look to avenge that loss today when it visits Methodist for a USA South game.
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