Tigerville, SC – In their 2012 home opener, the North Greenville University football team dropped its fourth straight game, this time a 42-7 loss to the Lions of Mars Hill College.
After winning the coin toss and electing to receive, Mars Hill used a 9-play, 75-yard drive to open the game with a touchdown from running back Shaikel Davis to take an early 7-0 lead before forcing the Crusaders to punt on their first series of the game.
Following the punt, the Lions once again drove down the field for a score, this time a 9-play, 91-yard drive ending with a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jon Richt to wide Receiver Dimitri Holmes giving Mars Hill a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter of play.
The Crusader offense continued to struggle throughout the first half of play as the Mars Hill offense scored its third touchdown of the half when Davis scored his second touchdown of the game on a 16-yard rush to put the Lions up 21-0 heading into halftime.
North Greenville received the kickoff following the break and drove the ball down the field until an interception by the Mars Hill defense was returned 78 yards for a touchdown to lift the Lions lead to 28-0 with 12:46 remaining in the third quarter.
Mars Hill scored once more in the third quarter as Richt tossed his second touchdown of the game, this time a 9-yard pass to wide receiver Josh Young to end a 4-play, 76 yard drive to make the score 35-0 heading into the final quarter of play.
The Lions finished off a 7-play, 65-yard drive early in the fourth quarter to score for the final time in the game on a 10-yard rush by running back Clarence Abraham to extend the lead to 42-0 with 14:10 left on the game clock.
Quarterback Nelson Hughes put the Crusaders on the board with a 14-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Troy Jones to make the final score 42-7 in favor of Mars Hill.
Joseph Carter led the offense with 94 yards passing, completing 14-of-20 passes and one interception, while Freddie Martino led all receivers with four receptions for 43 yards. Jones also recorded four receptions in the game for 26 yards and one touchdown. In his first start of the season, freshman running back Classe Thompson totaled 34 yards on 14 carries, while also recorded 20 receiving yards of his own.
On defense, sophomore Taylor Anderson led the charge with nine total tackles in the game. Senior Isaiah Johnson totaled seven tackles and two pass breakups on the night, while sophomore Nick Rodgers recorded seven tackles of his own. Senior Jonathon Sharpe was around the ball all night, totaling five tackles and one forced fumble.
The Crusaders (0-4) will look to earn their first win of the season with a trip to Hickory, NC to take on Lenoir Rhyne University at 7 p.m.