Behind another impressive rushing effort and a defense that held Valdosta State to two yards…
The No. 12/13 Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team throttled Barton by 44 points on a perfect Homecoming afternoon Between the Bricks. After Barton kicked a field goal with 7:36 left in the first quarter, LR outscored the visitors 40-0 to earn an emphatic victory. The defense held Barton to just eight first downs and 148 yards of total offense on the day while LR racked up 515 yards of offense themselves. Reigning SAC Offensive Player of the Week Jaquan Lynch was held to 66 yards passing on 6-of-14 completions and an interception and just eight yards rushing on eight attempts.
It was all Bears early and often in front of over 7,300 on a perfect Homecoming crowd. For the seventh straight game, the Bears got the ball first and for the fourth straight game they turned the opening possession into six points. Deondre Lester caught a 48-yard strike from Jalen Ferguson to put LR up early.
Barton answered with an eight play, 54-yard drive to put three points on the board as Bear Huggins hit a 38-yard field goal.
From there, the Bears closed out the first half with 27 unanswered points. Dwayne McGee had a one-yard touchdown run and Lester’s second TD grab made it 21-3. After Lester’s TD, the Bears forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and a trick play saw Songa Yates hit DeAree Rogers for a 21-yard strike on an end-around pass.
The last score of the first half came on a receiving touchdown from McGee from nine yards out to put LR up 34-3. After stuffing Barton on their first drive of the second half, LR marched 94 yards in 15 plays capped by a short field goal to make it 37-3. Just over four minutes later, Brown would hit from 40 yards to push it to 40-7.
The final scoring play of the game came on a 1-yard QB sneak from Sean White.
Ferguson finished the game with 241 yards passing and three touchdowns while converting on 19-of-24 attempts. McGee ran 15 times for 92 yards. DeAree Rogers had a career-high 11 grabs for 150 yards and his one touchdown and Lester had three catches for 70 yards to go with his pair of TD grabs. Jon Ross Maye and Malik Taylor each had six tackles and the LR defense had three total sacks. Taylor also forced a fumble. On the one year anniversary of a gruesome broken leg against Barton, DB T.J. Blanding had an interception, his second of the year.
The Bears have now won nine straight games dating back to the end of the 2022 season, the second-longest current winning streak in Division II. The Bears are 54-12 when they play in games where they are nationally ranked.
LR went 24-for-30 in the passing game, hitting on 80 percent of passes which is the second highest in a single game in the NCAA Era. Rogers’ 11 grabs are the third most in a game during the NCAA Era and his 150 yards are the seventh most during that time frame.
The Bulldogs 44 total plays are the fifth fewest allowed in the NCAA Era.
The Bears have given up just one touchdown at home all season and that came in the home opener against St. Augustine’s.
The Bears are 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the South Atlantic Conference. LR will return to action next Saturday when they travel to Newberry for a 4 p.m. contest.