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Andre Jefferson
Andre Jefferson led the defense with seven tackles and three tackles for a loss.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Football Defense Leads Bears to Win Over Fayetteville State

The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team hit the road for the first time this season and came away with an impressive 24-10 victory over Fayetteville State on Saturday evening. In a game that was delayed 85 minutes by weather, the Bears forced three first half turnovers and converted them into 21 points offensively to set the tone.

The LR defense put their stamp on this game early and often. On the second FSU drive of the game, C’Darius Kelley blew up an option play and Jon Ross Maye recovered the ball and returned it inside the red zone. Dwayne McGee, making his 2023 debut, punched in a 2-yard touchdown where he was untouched to put LR in front.

In the second quarter, Devin Hibbitt intercepted a pass and returned it 55 yards inside the five yard line to set up the LR offense. McGee once again punched it in as the lead swelled to 14-0. After a 41-yard field goal by Jake Brown, a third turnover set up the offense in prime position. A strip sack from Andre Jefferson set LR up at the four and Sean White hit Songa Yates to make it 24-0 with 5:32 left in the half.

The first half would end with LR up 24-0 and the Bears held FSU to 68 yards on 28 plays in the first 30 minutes.

The Broncos would break through on the scoreboard with a 53-yard run from Derrick Alson Jr. to make it 24-7 with 6:05 left in the third quarter. The Bears would force two more turnovers in the second half. James Ussery picked off a pass and Jefferson added his second strip sack.

A 35-yard field goal by the Broncos with 4:02 drew FSU within two touchdowns at 24-10. However, LR would run out the clock to seal the victory.

LR would hold Fayetteville St. to 12 first downs in the game and allowed just 259 yards of total offense. FSU held the ball for 31:42 of game action but couldn’t overcome the five turnovers.

Sean White went 15-for-26 for 148 yards and a touchdown but was sacked three times in the game. LR was held to 87 yards rushing on 37 carries led by McGee’s 23 carries for 89 yards.

Jefferson finished with seven tackles and 3 TFL. Darryl Taylor also had seven tackles.

This was the first all-time meeting between the two programs. Fayetteville St. becomes the 102nd all-time opponent for LR.

This is just the fifth time this decade LR has started 2-0 and twice under Mike Jacobs.

The Bears have defeated back-to-back CIAA opponents. Fayetteville St. was a playoff team a season ago.

The five turnovers are the most forced in a game since causing six in an NCAA Playoff game in 2018 against Florida Tech. The Bears improve to 44-7 since 2010 when forcing at least three turnovers.

The Bears are 2-0 on the early season. LR will return home to take on Erskine on Saturday at 6 p.m.