King throws for 3 TDs and the Gardner-Webb defense records a pair of Pick 6′s to beat Tennessee Tech

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Published: Nov. 11, 2023 at 10:26 PM EST
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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jaylen King threw for three touchdowns, on 12-of-19 passing, and the Gardner-Webb defense returned two of its three interceptions for touchdowns in a 35-0 victory over Tennessee Tech on Saturday.

Gardner-Webb (6-4, 4-1 Big South–OVC Football Association) clinched back-to-back winning records for the first time since 2002-03. The Runnin’ Bulldogs face rival Charleston Southern next week for a chance at clinching a share of the conference championship, and the automatic bid to the FCS playoffs for the second year in a row.

Gardner-Webb scored 14 points in less than four minutes to begin the game. Defensive back Jamari Brown intercepted a pass from Tennessee Tech QB Jordyn Potts on the third play of the game and scored from 33-yards out. Tennessee Tech went for it on fourth-and-1 on its next possession and Ty Anderson recorded a tackle-for-loss to give the Runnin’ Bulldogs good field position. Gardner-Webb scored two plays later when King found Narii Gaither for a 23-yard touchdown.

Ja’Kai Young added his second Pick 6 of the season when he returned it 23 yards for the defense’s second score of the game for a 35-0 lead at the break. Brandon Wilson made the third interception of Potts. It was the first time in Gardner-Webb’s Division-I history that the defense has had two pick 6′s in a game.

King passed for 171 yards, with 82 yards and two touchdowns going to Gaither. Karim Page added three catches for 80 yards and a score.

The Gardner-Webb defense held Tennessee Tech to 0 for 5 on fourth down and 6 for 22 on third down. The Golden Eagles had just seven first downs and 232 total yards.

Potts was 24 of 44 for 206 yards for Tennessee Tech (3-7, 1-4).

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