North Alabama, tough SAC road trips, highlight '08 slate

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - The Carson-Newman Eagles will host Division II powerhouse North Alabama as part of their 2008 football schedule , C-N Athletics Director David Barger announced Tuesday. The Eagles will host UNA on September 6 in Burke-Tarr Stadium.

Four South Atlantic Conference road games and a Friday-night affair in Waltham, Massachusetts with Bentley, will make the Eagles a road-tested group by season's end. The meeting with Bentley will be the first between the two schools.

C-N will open its season on the road against Concord (W. Va.) on Thursday night, August 28, giving it six road games in a 10-game schedule.

"Working out the final arrangements on this year's schedule has been a real chore," Barger said. "Although we only have four home games, they will all create great interest. The early season matchup with North Alabama will no doubt be a headline game for D-II this season."

Along with North Alabama, C-N will host Lenoir-Rhyne for Homecoming on October 18. Visits from Mars Hill on October 4 and Wingate on November 1 round out the Eagles' home dates.

"Homecoming is always a full house, and Mars Hill and Wingate are quality programs," said Barger. "It should be an exciting and entertaining home schedule."

The Eagles will travel to Newberry on September 27 for their SAC opener, and follow with a tough road trip to Catawba two weeks later (Oct. 11). C-N will close out its season in Greeneville, Tennessee against Tusculum on November 8.

"We have the toughest draw in the SAC," Eagles' Head Coach Ken Sparks said. "We play the last two conference champs at their place, and have just three home games. We'll also go to Bentley on a short week."

Four of C-N's `08 opponents (UNA, Catawba, Newberry, and Bentley) have reached the playoffs since 2004, the last year the Eagles reached the postseason.

"This year's schedule will be a real challenge," Sparks said. "North Alabama is one of the top three teams in the country, and three or four others on our schedule will be ranked. We'll have to be a complete team in all 10 games."

The Eagles finished the 2007 season 10-1, winning their 19th South Atlantic Conference title under Sparks.

C-N returns 17 starters from last year's squad, including first-team All-SAC performers Alex Good (QB), Reggie Hubbard (WR), Ross Schaffer (OT), Darius Wrentz (DE), Brian Brown (LB), Denares Waites (FS), and Chris Jones (P). Second team All-SAC selections Buck Wakefield (RB) and Otis Ballard (DB) also return, along with 2007 SAC Defensive Freshman of the Year, Revel Coffey (DB).

2008 Carson-Newman Football Schedule
Date Opponent Time
Aug. 28 (Thurs.) at Concord (W.Va.) 6:00 p.m.
Sept. 6 North Alabama TBA
Sept. 12 (Fri.) at Bentley 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Newberry* 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 Mars Hill* 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Catawba* 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 18 Lenoir-Rhyne (HC)* 3:00 p.m.
Oct. 25 at Brevard* 2:00 p.m.
Nov. 1 Wingate* 1:00 p.m.
Nov. 8 at Tusculum* 1:30 p.m.
* South Atlantic Conference Game


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