Tigerville, SC – The Bears of Lenoir Rhyne University posted 422 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground en route to handing the Crusaders a 35-17 loss at home on Saturday afternoon.
Lenoir Rhyne opened the first quarter with three touchdowns on its first three drives before North Greenville’s Trey Walker scored on a four-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nelson Hughes to make the score 21-7 early in the second quarter of play.
The Bears scored once more on a 60-yard run by Corron Boston, while a 20-yard field goal from junior Justin Gravely brought the Crusaders to a 28-10 deficit heading into intermission.
After a scoreless third quarter of play, the Bears punched the ball in from four-yards out for their final score of the contest. However, the Crusaders did not give up, scoring once more on a 35-yard pass from Hughes to Freddie Martino to make the final score 35-17 in favor of Lenoir Rhyne.
On offense, North Greenville totaled 442 total yards. Hughes led the way with a school record 34 completions on 47 attempts for 333 yards and two touchdowns with one interception late in the foruth quarter. Martino continued his hot start, setting a school-record with 19 receptions, which also put him at 77 for the season, a North Greenville single season record, and 209 yards with one touchdown.
Walker had his best game on the ground, rushing for a career high 125 yards on 21 carries, while also catching six passes for 33 yards and a score
The Crusader defense was led by senior Braelen Meredith who finished with 13 total tackles and one tackle for a loss. Freshman linebacker Sam Houston was close behind with 12 tackles of his own, while junior Nick Rodgers totaled eight tackles, one tackle for a loss and a sack.
The Crusaders (4-2) will look to bounce back next week on the road against Mars Hill College at 1 p.m. in Mars Hill, NC.