Samford defeated The Citadel 61-55 in four overtimes on Saturday afternoon, improving to 3-2 (2-0 SoCon) on the year.
Chris Oladokun and Liam Welch split offensive snaps at quarterback. Oladokun scored twice on two rushing touchdowns, but it was Welch who led Samford in passing, completing 9/18 attempts for 189 yards and three touchdowns, adding a touchdown score on the ground as well.
Freshman running back Jay Stanton chipped in with 97 yards on 15 carries and two touchdown on the ground in the win.
Samford opened up the scoring early in the first quarter with an 11-yard Oladokun touchdown dash.
The Citadel responded with seven seconds left in the quarter, tying the game at seven on a 1-yard touchdown scurry from quarterback Brandon Rainey.
Midway through the second quarter, The Citadel extended their lead to 14-7 on a 7-yard Remus Bulmer touchdown run.
However, Samford responded a minute before halftime with a 34-yard Mitchell Fineran field goal, making the score 14-10 going into the break.
Samford rapidly marched down the field at the beginning of the third quarter, capping off their first drive of the half with another Oladokun touchdown run. His 6-yard scamper made the game 17-14 in favor of Samford.
The Citadel responded with a touchdown of their own as Rainey found Raleigh Webb on an 84-yard touchdown reception, making the game 21-17.
Samford junior quarterback Liam Welch entered the game near the end of the third, almost immediately making an impact with a 51-yard completion to receiver Kendall Watson.
Stanton assisted Welch in capping off his first drive with a positive as he carried the ball for a 2-yard rushing TD, allowing Samford to regain a three-point lead.
The Citadel responded again in the fourth quarter, this time with a 17-yard Rainey to Webb passing connection, making it 28-24.
After Welch threw an interception in Samford’s own red zone in his second possession, The Citadel took over with great field position. They finished off their drive with a Jacob Godek field goal, extending their lead to 31-24 with just over nine minutes to play.
In Samford’s next offensive possession, Liam Welch was sacked for a 14-yard loss, eventually fumbling and returning possession to The Citadel.
The Citadel capitalized on excellent field position again, this time with a 1-yard Rainey touchdown run, extending their lead to 38-24.
Samford brought the game back within striking distance after Welch found freshman tight end Michael Vice on a 5-yard TD completion.
After a defensive stop with just over two minutes left to play, Samford received one last chance to score.
Welch took advantage of his opportunity, completing a 67-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Toney, tying the game at 38 before
Samford struck first in OT with a 25-yard Welch TD pass to Michael Vice, making the score 45-38.
The Citadel scored on their first overtime possession, a Dante Smith 5-yard touchdown carry, tying the game at 45.
The Citadel scored first in 2OT as a Webb rushing touchdown extended their lead to 52-45.
Samford responded once again with a Stanton rushing touchdown, tying the game at 52 before entering 3OT.
Samford received the first possession of the third OT and increased their lead to 55-52 on a 33-yard Fineran field goal.
The Citadel tied the game at 55 on a Godek field goal, sending the game into a fourth OT.
After a Samford defensive stop on a Citadel fourth down, Samford took over possession and started their drive from the 25.
Samford would emerge victorious in the contest after a 2-yard Welch touchdown rush, sending them into a celebratory frenzy.
Samford will return to action in a week as they host Furman at home on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.
Gunnar Sadowey is the sports editor for the Crimson. He is a senior from Elkhart, IN. Gunnar is currently a journalism and mass communications major with a print concentration and a German minor.