Saturday, November 11, 2023

Lenoir-Rhyne Dominates Tusculum to Secure SAC Championship


GREENEVILLE, TN  No. 13/15 Lenoir-Rhyne showcased an impressive performance in the SAC Championship, claiming a dominating victory over Tusculum with a score of 48-7. The Bears, led by quarterback Sean White, left an indelible mark on the game with an exceptional offensive display.

White, named the game's Most Valuable Player, orchestrated the Bears' offensive prowess by completing 19-of-30 passes for 305 yards and an outstanding five touchdowns, all without committing a turnover. This remarkable feat solidified his place in Lenoir-Rhyne's history as the first passer since 1990 to achieve such a touchdown milestone in a single game.

The LR offense, collectively, set a historic record by throwing six touchdown passes, marking the most in the 104-year history of LR Football. The Bears' dominance continued on the defensive end, with Chris Brown forcing a crucial fumble on Tusculum's second play, setting the tone for LR's defensive prowess throughout the game.

Throughout the matchup, Lenoir-Rhyne's defense consistently thwarted Tusculum's attempts, allowing just one first down in the first half and limiting the Pioneers to a mere 50 total yards of offense on 26 plays. The Bears went into halftime with a commanding 20-point lead, showcasing their well-rounded performance on both ends of the field.

The second half saw the Bears extending their lead, with key plays such as Tate O'Bryan's first career touchdown grab and John Godwin's 7-yard strike contributing to LR's 48-0 lead. Songa Yates and O'Bryan continued their impressive performance, each securing two touchdowns.

Tusculum managed to salvage a touchdown late in the game, but it was not enough to overcome Lenoir-Rhyne's dominance. The final score stood at 48-7 in favor of the Bears, securing their 26th all-time conference championship in program history.

Beyond the box score, Lenoir-Rhyne outgained Tusculum 497-156, maintaining possession of the ball for an astonishing 41 minutes and 35 seconds. Yates, with his three receiving touchdowns, tied a program record, while White's 305 passing yards marked a significant milestone for the team.

With this victory, Lenoir-Rhyne clinched a spot in the NCAA Playoff field, eagerly awaiting the postseason draw on Sunday at 6 p.m. on The Bears' impressive performance in the SAC Championship solidifies their status as a formidable contender as they look ahead to the challenges of the upcoming postseason.