Two days before it plays in the Sun Belt Championship Game as the East Division's…
For the 11th time in the last 12 head-to-head matchups, the No. 15/17 Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team defeated Carson-Newman, 24-7. On a warm and sunny afternoon, the Bears held Carson-Newman scoreless on their final nine drives to move to 4-0 for the fourth time since 1970 and just the 13th time in program history.
In his first career start, Jalen Ferguson was responsible for all three touchdowns — two passing and one rushing — and finished the day 16-for-24 for 215 yards passing.
For the second straight week, LR took its opening possession and turned it into seven points. The Bears used a 10-play, 75-yard drive that was punctuated by a 1-yard QB sneak by Ferguson to go up early. The Eagles would respond on their first drive of the game as a blown coverage resulted in a 65-yard TD strike from Jaylen Myers to Julius Cobbs.
From that point on, it was all Lenoir-Rhyne. Aside from that one 65-yard scoring play, the Eagles would account for just 146 yards over the final 51 plays. Malik Simmons would break free on a 29-yard catch to put the Bears up 14-7 on what would become the game-winning score.
Capitalizing on a forced fumble and recovery by Connor Lachesky, the Bears connected on a third TD as Ferguson hit Kelin Parsons on a 16-yarder to make it 21-7 with 1:06 left in the first half. The Eagles got the ball to start the second half and had a 17-play, 57-yard drive that took 8:15 off the clock but resulted in a missed 25-yard field goal.
Jake Brown would close the scoring with a 39-yard field goal in the early stages of the fourth quarter as the LR defense only allowed 17 total yards in the final quarter.
Dwayne McGee, who ran for 200 yards and five touchdowns the last time he played at Burke-Tarr Stadium, finished with a season-high 123 yards rushing on 15 carries. Songa Yates had five catches for 40 yards, all in the first half, and Parsons added three grabs for 38 yards. DeAree Rogers led all receivers with 53 yards.
James Ussery paced the defense with seven total tackles and Andre Jefferson added five tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. Two C-N quarterbacks combined to go 13-for-25 for 158 yards. The LR defense suffocated C-N’s running game as the Eagles managed just 53 yards on 29 carries.
The Bears have won six straight over Carson-Newman, the longest LR winning streak in the history of the series. LR has also won five straight at Burke-Tarr Stadium and haven’t lost in Mossy Creek since 2012. Carson-Newman has only scored 20 total points against LR in the last three head-to-head games. The Bears have outscored C-N 117-20 over that time.
The Bears haven’t allowed more than 10 points in a game all season. This was the first afternoon game for LR this year. LR is 9-0 since 2012 when they play against Carson-Newman as a ranked team. In total, the Bears are 51-12 as a ranked team.
Carson-Newman has been outscored 111-21 in their 3-game losing streak.
The Bears are 4-0 overall, 2-0 in the South Atlantic Conference. LR will return home and look to go 5-0 when UVA Wise comes to Moretz Stadium for a 2 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, September 30.