Hickory, N.C.- 0-3 is not the record coach Jamey Chadwell had in mind to open his first season at the helm for North Greenville University. 0-3 is the card that was dealt and the Crusaders would try to pick up the first win of the 2009 season against Lenoir Rhyne University (2-1), a South Atlantic Conference member.
Despite a hard fought second half by the Crusaders, Lenoir Rhyne came away with a 32 to 16 victory.
The first 30 minutes of the game were completely dominated by LR. The Bears, who averaged 349 rushing yards per game the previous 3, racked up 242 yards on 29 attempts. The Bears racked up 313 total yards of offense in the first half. The first half for the Crusaders however was less than impressive. The Crusaders could only muster 25 yards on 20 plays. The halftime score was 20-0 in favor of Lenoir Rhyne.
The beginning of the second half looked to be a repeat of the first half. The Crusaders opened the second half with a three and out. The Bears would take over at the NGU 44 yard line and put together a 10 play 66 yard scoring drive. The Crusaders defense would fight to keep NGU in the game. In the third quarter, the North Greenville defense would force 4 fumbles giving the NGU offense the ball inside Bears territory.
The Crusader offense was only able to capitalize one time on the third quarter turnovers when kicker Zach Sears booted a 36 yard field goal with 4:37 left in the third quarter. North Greenville’s defense would hold LR to one more touchdown while forcing 5 turnovers all which were fumbles. The Crusaders would finally post a touchdown drive late in the 4th quarter. After a 42 yard rush by quarterback Aaron Seigler, North Greenville tailback Josh Murph scored from 11 yards out. Following a Zach Sears extra point, the score would be 32-10 in favor of the bears.
The Crusaders would make the score 32-16 after Isaiah Jonshon returned a LR punt 79 yards to pay dirt. The point after would be missed. After a failed onside kick attempt the Bears would take a knee to run out the clock. Defensively for the Crusaders, Jamarious Robinson lead the team with 8 tackles and a fumble recovery. Andre Bernardi, Damien Wright, and Nick Rosamonda had 6 tackles. Bernardi lead the defense with 1.5 tackles for loss. “I thought the team played hard once again” said head coach Jamey Chadwell. The Crusaders next game will be Saturday September 26 at Charleston Southern. The game is scheduled for a 1:30 kickoff.