Berry College notched its first-ever back-to-back wins on Saturday with a convincing 24-0 drubbing over the visiting Rhodes College.
A week after Berry’s historic 16-13 win over in-state foe LaGrange College to open its new stadium, Valhalla, the Vikings commanded an equally inspired performance. Berry scored its first points with 1:33 remaining in the first quarter on a two-yard rushing touchdown from sophomore running back Jalen Tuggle to cap an 11-play, 73-yard drive.
With the win, the Vikings also notched the team’s first-ever winning record during a season. Berry finished the 2014 season with a 2-8 record and its inaugural season with a 1-9 record.
“When you win 24-0, it’s defense, offense and special teams,” said Berry Head Coach Tony Kunczewski. “We got some tough yards on offense and Rhodes is a very good team.”
For Berry, junior quarterback Dale Jackson finished the afternoon completing 12 of 19 passes for 163 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Junior Trey Ciresi hauled in six passes for 114 yards and both touchdown passes while Tuggle led the Vikings’ ground assault, rushing for 46 yards on 18 carries.
For Rhodes, three quarterbacks combined for a rough afternoon, completing 10 of 23 passes for 124 yards and two interceptions. Wide receiver Jonathan Wiener ran the Wildcat offense for portions of the second half, and the Vikings held the visiting Lynx to just 63 yards on the ground and 187 yards of total offense.
“We’ll enjoy this, but know we have a long way to go and still need to improve,” Kunczewski said. “We still haven’t won on the road as a program, and hope to end that streak soon.”
Both schools next play against Sewanee: The University of the South. Berry (2-1) travels to Sewanee (1-2) next week while Rhodes (2-1) is off next week and hosts Sewanee on Oct. 3.