JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (Carson-Newman College) — The No. 19-ranked Carson-Newman football team put forth a dominating rushing attack to defeat visiting Concordia (Ala.) College 37-7 Thursday night at Burke-Tarr Stadium.
With the victory, the Eagles improve to 2-1 on the year, while the Hornets fall to 1-2.
“I think the scoreboard, as far as trying to grow with what we’re doing was flashing pretty good tonight,” Carson-Newman head coach Ken Sparks said. “It gives us something to celebrate and a bunch of kids that maybe will listen better because they got a chance to play.”
Carson-Newman junior running back Nate Inman (Fitzgerald, Ga.) rushed 15 times fore 140 yards in the game. Inman’s 49-yard touchdown run to open the second quarter broke the contest open for the Eagles, giving them a 16-7 lead.
“Nate is special,” Sparks said. “He’s a tough youg’un and he’s got a great heart and he wants to do it right. After a couple of series, they picked it up.”
The Eagles’ defensive line had its best day of 2010, recording seven sacks. Junior defensive end Byron Bell (Knoxville, Tenn.) had 3.5 sacks and seven tackles. Freshman defensive end Zac Fleming (Kingsport, Tenn.) had two sacks and four tackles. Senior free safety Mario Russell (Columbus, Ohio) led the team with 10 tackles.
“Byron (Bell) is probably one of the most outstanding kids I’ve ever been around,” Sparks said. “We’re blessed to have him on our football team and to be an unbelievable example for all of us. I thank the Lord for Byron Bell every day. He’s a guy that’s a difference maker.”
Carson-Newman’s defense were ball hawks as well, with junior linebacker Ryan Helton (Tazewell, Tenn.), sophomore cornerback Issac Kinley (Johnson City, Tenn.) and senior strong safety Dontaye Hall (Gallatin, Tenn.) all grabbing interceptions.
C-N piled up 374 yards of total offense, all but 50 of it on the ground. Senior quarterback Doug Belk (Valdosta, Ga.) rushed eight times for 88 yards and a touchdown, a 51-yarder that put the Eagles up 30-7 at the top of the third quarter. Brandon Baker (Miami, Fla.) had four carries for 50 yards and a touchdown. Freshman quarterback Johnny Foster (Roebuck, S.C.) carried the ball twice for 14 yards and a score.
Concordia had 267 total yards, with most of its yardage coming through the air. The Hornets used three different quarterbacks, Jeremy Roberts, T’chelipo Woods and Sherman Stephens. Roberts had the most productive day, finishing 8-for-16 passing for 83 yards. Woods was 5-for-13 for 88 yards.
Taron Squires led all Concordia rushers with nine carries for 47 yards and the Hornets’ only touchdown.
Freshman Matthew Gossett (White House, Tenn.) opened scoring for Carson-Newman, hitting a 41-yard field goal with six minutes to go in the first quarter.
Carson-Newman has a tough road test next week when they take on No. 14-ranked University of North Carolina-Pembroke in Pembroke, N.C. on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. Last season the Eagles beat UNC-Pembroke 35-22 at Burke-Tarr Stadium.