Mars Hill Football Rallies To Defeat Lenoir-Rhyne, 24-20
October 9, 2010
Lions score with 37 seconds left to defeat the Bears
Junior running back Jasper Thomas scored a touchdown for Lenoir-Rhyne despite a 24-20 loss to Mars Hill on Homecoming Saturday afternoon at Moretz Stadium.
Hickory, N.C. – The Mars Hill College Football Team (4-2, 2-0) scored the game-winning touchdown with 37 seconds left to rally and defeat Lenoir-Rhyne University (3-3, 0-2), 24-20, Saturday afternoon on the Bears’ Homecoming at Moretz Stadium in a South Atlantic Conference affair.
The Lions' Jonas Randolph (Daleville, Ala.), last year’s league co-offensive player of the year, scored the game-winner on a 50-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Luis Cruz (Anaheim, Calif.). Randolph finished with a game-high 156 yards rushing to go along with 59 yards receiving and two scores to lead Mars Hill to victory.
The Lions, who rallied from a 17-7 second-quarter deficit, also blocked two punts while returning one for a score in the win.
Mars Hill scored on the game’s opening drive as Randolph finished off a 10-play, 78-yard drive with a one-yard score.
L-R responded with 17 straight points starting with junior fullback Byron Darby’s (Gastonia, N.C.) five-yard touchdown run on the ensuing drive to tie the contest at 7-7.
Junior placekicker Colin Corpe (Ocala, Fla.) put the Bears ahead with a 21-yard field goal later in the quarter after an interception by senior defensive back Marcus Shuford (Newton, N.C.).
On Lenoir-Rhyne's third possession, junior running back Jasper Thomas (High Point, N.C.) capped off an 11-play, 79-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run early in the second stanza for a 10-point Bear advantage.
Trailing 17-10, Mars Hill tied the game just before halftime on Josh Baker’s (Skyland, N.C.) 12-yard blocked punt return for a touchdown.
L-R forged ahead again in the third quarter on Corpe’s second field goal (28 yards) on the afternoon to make it a 20-17 advantage.
A missed field goal early in the final stanza didn’t deter Mars Hill as the Lions held the Bears on downs at the Mars Hill 31 with 1:14 remaining which set up the game-winning drive. The Bears drove to the Lions' 21 as time was running out but Mars Hill ended the game with an interception in the end zone.
Mars Hill’s Rudy Cabral (Fairview, N.C.) was outstanding on defense for the Lions as he finished with a game-high 19 tackles and 2.5 quarterbacks.
For L-R, junior fullback Le’Quan McCorkle (Sherrills Ford, N.C.) led the ground game with 75 yards while junior wide receiver Nick Stutts (Statesville, N.C.) caught five passes for 55 yards. Lenoir-Rhyne entered the game ranked second in the NCAA Division II in rushing (328.2 ypg) and finished with 228 yards on the ground.
On defense, Shuford finished with a team-high nine tackles to go along with an interception while senior defensive back Carl Brooks (Raleigh, N.C.) added eight takedowns for the Bears.
Lenoir-Rhyne next travels to Asheville, N.C., to face Brevard in a league match Saturday at 2 p.m., while Mars Hill returns home to take on SAC-foe Newberry next Saturday at 2 p.m., as well.