Athens, W.Va. - The Concord Football Team (1-0) rallied from a 21-point deficit to defeat Lenoir-Rhyne (0-1), 24-21, in the season opener Saturday evening at Callaghan Stadium. The contest was delayed one hour due to severe weather.
The Mountains Lions' Andy Ellington (Scott Depot, W.Va.) kicked the game-winning field goal from 41 yards out with 11:14 remaining in the fourth quarter to complete the rally. The field goal was the last of 24 consecutive points by Concord.
Lenoir-Rhyne opened the scoring midway through the first quarter when senior quarterback Reuben Haynes (Commerce, Ga.) found the end zone on a 42-yard run. Haynes finished with a game-high 111 yards rushing in the setback.
L-R sophomore Greg Baker (Woodbine, Ga.) recovered a blocked punt in the end zone and sophomore running back Chris Robinson (Newnan, Ga.) scored on a two-yard run to push the Bears' advantage to 21-0 late in the second quarter.
However, Concord scored just before the break when Davon Marion (Mount Hope, W.Va.) returned a fumble eight yards for a score. Marion also had the game-ending interception.
The Mountain Lions' quarterback, Zack Grossi (Odessa, Fla.), cut the Bears' lead to one touchdown when he scored on a one-yard run which culminated a 12-play, 79-yard drive at the 6:32 mark of the third quarter.
Grossi then found receiver Ansel Ponder (Bluefield, W.Va.) for a 17-yard touchdown reception on Concord's next possession to tie the score at 21-all just before the end of the third quarter.
Grossi finished with 247 yards passing while wideout Randall Hawkins (Woodruff, S.C.) led all receivers with 10 catches for 109 yards for the Mountain Lions in the win.
Ellington's field goal in the fourth and final stanza completed the comeback for Concord, who picked off a pair of Lenoir-Rhyne passes on the Bears' final two drives to preserve the win.
L-R rushed for 301 yards in the loss while Concord held a 339-337 advantage in total offense. On defense, the Bears were led by junior defensive back O'neil Blake (Kissimmee, Fla.) with a team-high nine tackles but Lenoir-Rhyne lost six turnovers in the game.
Lenoir-Rhyne returns to Hickory, N.C., to host Davidson in its 2012 home opener on Saturday beginning at 7:00 p.m., at Moretz Stadium. Concord, meanwhile, faces No. 9 Winston-Salem State at home next Saturday at 1:00 p.m.