The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Football team uses inner light to shine to victory

Guilford’s football team is disciplined, tenacious, and unified. They are one team — a family really — with one common goal: to win football games and go to playoffs. The team won three games in a row, which is the longest winning streak since 2007. They are more focused and determined than ever to continue winning.

On Oct. 11, during a rare Thursday night game — the first since 1966 — Guilford’s football team rose from the ashes and beat Bridgewater College 23–20 to secure an Old Dominion Athletic Conference win.

“(Bridgewater) was a team that had embarrassed us as a program last year, so we had to come into that game ready to make a statement that we’re not the same team as last year,” said first-year offensive lineman Estavio Jones.

This was a tough win for the Quakers, who worked hard to correct deficits during the game.

Two key players in the game were first-year quarterback Matt Pawlowski and junior running back Nick Mearite. Pawlowski had a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mearite with only a little over seven minutes on the clock. Mearite took the pass and carried it to victory, scoring the winning touchdown of the game.

Pawlowski assisted in all three of Guilford’s touchdowns and passed for 258 yards without being intercepted. Mearite also made five amazing catches during the game.

This was the first home win for second-year head football coach Chris Rusiewicz, and the first triumph over their conference rival since 2006.“I believe the winning streak has something to do with the loss to Washington and Lee University (Sept. 29). They were a big loss to us, (which) I believe sort of woke us up and made us realize if we wanted to win, we had to want it more than any other team in the conference,” said Jones.

“I think the best part about (that) game is that we never (gave) up as a program,” said Rusiewicz. “The kids just kept fighting and pushing through, and one of the big examples of that is (that) we got down late in that game, and we came back to win the game.”

“When we beat Shenandoah University the week before Bridgewater, we realized that this is how we need to play every game,” said junior defensive lineman Kyle Ennis. “We are not satisfied with 3–1 in the conference. We are going for 6–1, and to be conference champs.”

“When you bring a hundred young men together from all walks of life, one of the most important things is to get them to become unified,” said Rusiewicz. “I think they started to do that a year ago, and it happened really quickly. Any time you bring unification and build love and trust, it goes a long way.”

Unfortunately, Guilford lost to ODAC rival Hampden-Sydney College Oct. 27, with a final tally of 68–24. The Quakers still have two more games scheduled to play before their season closes, with their final home game on Nov. 3 against Catholic University. Although the winning streak may have come to an end, the team knows they have the potential to bounce back and come out on top.

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