Western Carolina beats defending Southern Conference champion Samford 30-7

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (AP) — Cole Gonzales passed for 262 yards and two touchdowns, Desmond Reid rushed for 170 yards and a score, and Western Carolina beat defending Southern Conference champion Samford 30-7 on Saturday in a weather-delayed game.

Western Carolina led 14-7 with 11:38 remaining in the second quarter when the game was delayed due to lightning in the area. The Catamounts had the ball after WCU's first takeaway of the season.

The game, originally scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. start, restarted five hours later at 9 p.m.

Richard McCollum made two field goals in the closing 98 seconds of the first half to extend Western Carolina's lead to 20-7. McCollum added an 18-yarder in the third quarter and Reid scored on a short run in the fourth.

Western Carolina (1-1, 0-1 Southern Conference) ended a five-game winless drought against Samford (1-1, 0-1) with its first victory in the series since the 2017 season.

Michael Hiers threw for 315 yards and a touchdown for Samford, which is ranked No. 7 in the FCS coaches’ poll. The Bulldogs head to Auburn next weekend.

___ AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll