Sunday, September 24, 2023

Mars Hill Secures Thrilling 16-14 Victory over Barton in SAC Clash

MARS HILL – In a thrilling South Atlantic Conference (SAC) showdown, the Mars Hill football team (3-0, 2-0 SAC) emerged victorious over the previously undefeated Barton Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1 SAC) with a final score of 16-14. The game, which featured two division leaders, delivered an intense battle of wills on Saturday afternoon at Mears Stadium and the Ammons Family Athletic Center.

The Lions of Mars Hill found themselves trailing 14-10 at halftime after Lon Teachey notched one of his three field goals as time expired in the second quarter. However, the Mars Hill defense came alive in the second half, shutting out Barton entirely. With just under eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, Teachey nailed a 25-yard field goal, narrowing the deficit to a single point.

The pivotal moment arrived in the fourth quarter when Tarshawn Reed's sack on Barton's Jaquan Lynch forced a game-changing fumble, recovered by Damipi Lamboni. Within a little over a minute, Teachey delivered the game-winning 34-yard field goal, securing the Lions' remarkable comeback.

Mars Hill initiated the scoring in the first quarter, with JR Martin connecting with Malik Laurent for an impressive 60-yard touchdown reception. Barton countered in the second quarter, with Kameron Johnson hauling in a 65-yard pass from Lynch, followed by Lynch's one-yard touchdown rush, propelling them to a 14-7 lead before halftime.

Statistically, Mars Hill outgained Barton 476-258, particularly excelling in their ground game, accumulating 316 rushing yards. JR Martin, the Lions' quarterback, led the charge with 167 rushing yards and 160 passing yards, amassing a total of 327 yards. Additionally, the Lions' defense contained the prolific Jordan Terrell, limiting him to just 47 rushing yards on 18 carries.

Next up, Mars Hill will hit the road to face Limestone in Gaffney, South Carolina, on Saturday, September 30, with kickoff scheduled for 12 p.m. On the other hand, Barton will look to bounce back as they travel to Greeneville, Tennessee, to take on Tusculum at 2:00 p.m. on the same day in a crucial conference matchup.