JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn (release) -- The Carson-Newman Eagles needed a spark after only one player passed the 100-yard mark in rushing in what is the nation’s most potent ground game in the game against Lenoir-Rhyne Saturday afternoon.
That spark came from the foot of Curt Duncan.
Duncan set a school record for most points by a kicker in a single game with 17 as he booted field goals from 43, 25, 28 and 50 yards as well as converted on all five point after attempts to lead the Eagles to a 47-23 win over Lenoir-Rhyne in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) opener for both squads.
Duncan’s 50-yard field was the first time an Eagle kicker had a 50-yard kick since the 1997 season and the four three-point plays were the most field goals completed since the 1984 season. Carson-Newman took advantage of five Bears turnovers, scoring on all five throughout the game to eventually blow open a game that was close going into the fourth quarter.
The Eagles improve to 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in SAC play. The Bears fall to 1-2, 0-1.
The Eagles wasted little time scoring as they took the opening drive for a score. Brandon Baker capped a 74-yard drive when he ran in from 28 yards out to put the Eagles up 7-0 after Curt Duncan’s point after.
The Eagles would turn two Lenior-Rhyne turnovers into 10 points during the remainder of the first quarter. Duncan booted a 43-yard field goal and Andy Hibbett rumbled in from 22 yards on the second play after a turnover deep in Bear territory at the 30 yard line as the Eagles jumped out to a 17-0 lead.
The Bears regrouped in the second quarter and after Duncan hit the second of three field goals in the first half, Lenoir-Rhyne finally got on the board when Teverrius Jones scored on a 45-yard run. The Eagles were hampered by a penalty as they looked to be knocking on the door of the end zone but had to settle for another Duncan field goal, this time from 28 yards. The final score of the half came off the toe of Zach Neumann who kicked a 20 yarder to make it 23-10 at the break.
Duncan’s 50-yard field goal was the only scoring the Eagles had in the third quarter. The Bears cut the lead to 26-17 when Jarrod Spears scored on a 55-yard jaunt late in the third quarter.
Tyron Douglas capped a long drive- 12 plays, 80 yards in 6:23- with a two-yard run. The Bears cut the lead to 10 points when Jones scored his second touchdown of the day, this time from seen yards away. The Bears went for two but failed to make it 33-23.
From that point on, it was all Eagles. Two turnovers spelled disaster for the Bears as Carson-Newman’s Greg Beauduy picked up a fumble and returned it to the three yard line. One play later, Brandon Haywood was in the end zone. Beauduy had another big defensive play as he scooped up a fumble and returned it 66 yards to pay dirt to produce the 47-23 final.
Baker led the Eagles in rushing with 104 yards on nine carries. Haywood was 8-for-11 for 136 yards through the air for C-N. Spears had 182 yards on 11 carries for the Bears. Carson-Newman only out-gained the Bears by a single yard, 443-442, but took advantage of the five miscues which always resulted in points.