Greensboro wins annual Soup Bowl

School bands, cheerleaders, and shirtless guys with body paint are all signs of an approaching football game. Add 7,000 cans of food, cross-town rivals, and you have the annual Soup Bowl featuring Guilford and Greensboro College.The Greensboro Pride defeated the Guilford Quakers in this year’s 14th annual game. With a final score of 17-15, Head Coach Kevin Kiesel described the game as a classic, hard-fought Soup Bowl. Annually one of the Quakers’ most popular games, this year’s drew 2,625 fans to the Armfield Athletic Center.

Greensboro was the first to get on the scoreboard with a field goal by Donnie Leopold in the last 3:23 of the second quarter. Guilford retaliated quickly with a touchdown scored by junior wide receiver Ben King with 36 seconds left in the same quarter.

Following the touchdown, a fake extra point led to a successful two-point conversion by senior Billy Watkins. The Quakers went into the half with an 8-3 lead.

Coming out of halftime, the Quakers began to lose their hold on the game, allowing Greensboro’s offense to gain control. Guilford’s offense got a total 3:32 minutes of playing time in the third quarter, while the defense was on the field for 11:38.

The Pride took the lead again when quarterback Seth Adams completed a touchdown at 9:41 in the third quarter. Senior defensive back Jordan Nelson, however, denied Greensboro’s two-point conversion attempt, making the score 9-8 Greensboro. Six seconds into fourth quarter Adams scored again, rushing seven yards for a 17-8 lead.

With a mere 10:32 left in the game, Guilford was able to tighten the score to 17-15 with another touchdown by King. King took the handoff from junior quarterback Luke Vandall on a reverse and dashed his way for the score. After King’s 27-yard touchdown run, the Quakers aggressively fought for the win.

“(The game) went down to the last play,” said Kiesel. “They had more big plays than us which was the difference in the outcome.”

Nelson described their two-point loss as heartbreaking.

“We’ve been preparing for three weeks, all to play Greensboro,” said Nelson. “We played the best we could; the penalties killed us.”

Indeed, this year’s game had almost double the amount of penalties compared to the last Soup Bowl. Guilford received eight penalties with a total of 96 yards lost, while Greensboro had twelve penalties total but lost only 76 yards.

“I have to give credit to Greensboro College,” said Kiesel. “They are a very gutsy team.”

The team is determined not to let their first game affect their season.

“Once (the team) gets out of the locker room, we’ll put it behind us,” said Nelson.

“We’ve got a good squad,” said Vandall. “We need to execute and get back.”

The team exited the field already prepared to watch the tapes and learn from this setback.

“(We need to) move forward and become a better team,” said Kiesel after the loss.

With 35 yards rushing, 53 yards receiving and two touchdowns, King was awarded MVP for Guilford. Adams received MVP for Greensboro. Adams completed 14 out of 29 passes for 186 yards, and scored two touchdowns.

Guilford once again dominated the food drive, collecting 4,302 cans of food. Paired with Greensboro’s 2,799 cans, 7,101 cans were donated to Feeding America in the course of this year’s game. The collection from this game brings the number of donations since 1997 to a total of 52,410, all given to local charities.

The next chance to see the Quakers play comes Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. for Youth Night against Methodist College.

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