Trailing by a goal in the final 90 seconds of regulation, Summer Bowman drilled a…
It was all Lenoir-Rhyne as the special teams and defense combined for 35 of the 49 first half points in a blowout win over Erskine on Saturday night, 62-0. DeAree Rogers tied a Lenoir-Rhyne record with two punt returns for touchdowns, both coming in the first half, and already broke Kyle Dugger’s season record for most punt returns for touchdowns in a season as he is up to three on the year. All three of his return TD’s have come at home and his 170 punt return yards were the most in a single game in program history.
The LR defense permitted just 56 yards on 57 plays and the 1.0 yards per play were the lowest allowed in the NCAA Era. The 32.4 passing efficiency by the Flying Fleet was the lowest in the NCAA Era allowed by an LR defense
The Bears forced a three-and-out and then Dwayne McGee ran for 55 yards on the first drive to set LR up at the one. Sean White’s QB sneak put LR up 7-0 just 4;17 into the game.
Rogers’ first punt return for a TD was a 61 yarder to the house as LR jumped up 14-0. The LR special teams struck again with a blocked punt by James Ussery that was recovered in the end zone by Malakei Sumner for a touchdown. This was the second punt block for a touchdown this season for the Bears. Rogers then took a punt 77 yards for his second TD of the game, tying the mark of Kyle Dugger which he did twice.
With LR up 28-0, Percy King intercepted a pass and took it 42 yards for a touchdown at the 7:20 mark of the second quarter. Dwayne McGee would punch in a 2-yard touchdown at the 3:23 mark and Jalen Ferguson would connect with Sumner on a 68-yard touchdown pass, his first career TD.
The first half would end with LR dominating on the scoreboard 49-0 and holding Erskine to 17 yards on 33 plays. The Flying Fleet ran for -21 yards on 18 rushes and hit just 6-of-15 passes for 38 yards in the first 30 minutes. It was more of the same in the second half as Zyheir Dillard scored from two yards and Zayvion Turner-Knox had a 43-yard scamper to make it 62-0.
McGee finished with 102 yards rushing on 13 carries and Turner-Knox also surpassed the century mark with eight carries for 100 yards. Jalen Ferguson came in the second quarter and went 5-of-6 for 130 yards and a touchdown.
Jon Ross Maye had six tackles, 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss in a monstrous defensive effort. He added a pass breakup.
As a team, LR had 12 tackles for loss and had three interceptions for the second straight week. The nine touchdowns scored tie for the most in a game in the NCAA Era. The Bears improve to 3-0 for just the 18th time in the 104-year history of LR Football.
This was the second shutout for LR in the last two years. LR also shut out Barton in 2022. This was the first meeting between LR and Erskine in Hickory since 1950. The -20 yards rushing for Erskine are the second-fewest allowed by an LR defense in the NCAA Era. The 56 total yards allowed are the third-fewest in the NCAA Era.
The Bears are 3-0 overall 1-0 in the South Atlantic Conference. LR will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Carson-Newman for the first SAC road game of the season.