Two days before it plays in the Sun Belt Championship Game as the East Division's…
Sean White did something no other LR quarterback has ever done in the Bears thumping of Shepherd in the opening round of the NCAA Playoffs. White’s 398 yards passing are the most by an LR QB in the 104-year history of football, breaking the mark of 392 set by Brian Bryson against Mars Hill in 1987. White finished 25 of 31 and connected on his first 14 passes while throwing five touchdowns and rushing for two more as the Bears handled the Rams 63-17. White’s 405 totals yards of offense also breaks an NCAA era program record and the Bears tied a mark with six passing touchdowns, something they had never done in history but have no accomplished in each of the past two games.
Lenoir-Rhyne won the toss and took the ball, marching 77 yards in 13 plays and took 6:57 off the clock as White ran in from six yards out. On the drive, White went 10-for-10 for 65 yards to set the tone for a huge day.
Shepherd answered right back with a 7-play, 76-yard drive to even the score as Malakai Brown punched it in from two yards out. The Bears next drive took just three plays to cover 75 yards as White hit Songa Yates for a 53-yard TD strike.
Alvin James forced a fumble on the next Shepherd drive and Zayvion Turner-Knox took a direct snap and ran it in from three yards out to put the Bears up 21-7 on the last play of the first quarter. Shepherd got three points on their next possession but were a little disappointed. With the ball on the 1-yard line and facing third down, Percy King made a huge tackle to stop the Rams in the backfield and force a 20-yard field goal to cut the lead to 21-10.
White then lofted a perfect deep ball to Kelin Parsons that covered 65 yards and LR took a 28-10 lead with 10:52 left in the first half. Shepherd made it 28-17 with 5:40 left in the second quarter on a beautiful 39 yard touchdown pass but wouldn’t score again. LR kept the Rams off the scoreboard for the final 35:40. The first half would end on a Songa Yates 31-yard TD grab on fourth down to put the Bears up 35-17.
The first play of the second half resulted in a Jon Ross Maye interception to set up a 1-yard White QB sneak and put LR up 42-17. White and DeAree Rogers connected on a 40 yarder and White would hit Deondre Lester for a 16 yard touchdown on the last play of the third quarter to tie the passing yardage record. He would break it on a six yard completion on his next pass.
Jalen Ferguson came in and hit Rogers for his second TD grab and the sixth passing TD of the game for LR tying the record that was set last week. • LR had 617 total yards and threw for 461 as a team. They held the Rams to just 94 yards rushing on 32 attempts.
Dwayne McGee ran for 96 yards on 16 carries. Yates had six grabs for 141 yards and now has back-to-back 100-yard games and five touchdowns over the past two weeks. Rogers had four grabs for 91 yards and his two TD’s while Lester had eight catches for 89 yards. Defensively, Jon Ross Maye had seven tackles and the interception and Andre Jefferson had four tackles and two sacks.
The 461 yards passing breaks an all-time record. Jake Brown also tied a record with nine made extra points. LR’s 80 percent completion percentage is the second highest in the NCAA Era. The 8.9 yards per play are the third most in the same time frame.
617 yards represents the sixth most in a single-game in the NCAA Era. Yates’ 141 yards receiving are the most in an NCAA Playoff game in program history. LR improves to 9-2 all-time in NCAA Playoff games at home.
This was the first all-time win in three attempts over Shepherd. This is also the first NCAA Playoff win at LR for Mike Jacobs and his fifth career playoff dub.
The Bears advance to take on Super Region 2’s top seed Benedict next Saturday in Columbia, S.C. Kick off is set for 1 p.m.