JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – A first-ever meeting with Glenville State (W.Va.) and a rare three-game home stand beginning in late October highlight the 2011 Carson-Newman football schedule, released on Monday.
The Eagles will open their 2011 season a 380-mile trip to northern West Virginia to face Glenville State College, a West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member. The Pioneers were 5-6 last season.
The opener marks the first time since the 1998 season that the Eagles have opened the regular season in September. They had played their last 12 openers in August.
Following a 16-day layoff after its season opener, Carson-Newman will open South Atlantic Conference play at Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory, N.C. on Sept. 17. The Bears beat the Eagles last season for the first time in the Ken Sparks’ era.
The Eagles will finally make their 2011 home debut on Sept. 24 when Newberry visits Mossy Creek for a 1 p.m. kickoff. C-N won last season’s meeting at Newberry, 35-13.
C-N will travel to defending SAC champion Wingate on Oct. 1, before hosting Catawba on Oct. 8. The meeting with Catawba is the first game in a stretch where the Eagles play four of five games in Burke-Tarr Stadium.
The Eagles will step out of conference play in back-to-back weeks to face North Greenville University on October 15 in Tigerville, S.C. The meeting will be the first between the two schools. The game also marks C-N’s first non-conference game in October since 1993.
A homecoming matchup with The University of North Carolina Pembroke follows on Oct. 22. The Eagles and Braves have split a pair of meetings each of the last two seasons.
Visits from Brevard on Oct. 29 and Tusculum on Nov. 5 complete a rare three-game home stand late in the season. The Eagles beat both team on the road last season.
The regular season finale comes on the road against Mars Hill on Nov. 12. It will be the first time the Eagles and Lions have met in a regular season finale in 31 meetings between the two teams in the Sparks’ era.
C-N will try to improve on a 7-4 campaign in 2010. The Eagles finished 5-2 in South Atlantic Conference play and lost two games by a field goal.
The Eagles will return five All-SAC performers, led by defensive end Zeke Andrews (Eastman, Ga.), running back Nate Inman (Fitzgerald, Ga.), and center Kevin Day (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.).
Sparks will enter 2011 with 294 career victories. Only 12 coaches in college football history have reached the 300-win plateau.
2011 Carson-Newman Football Schedule
9/1 (Thurs.) at Glenville State
9/17 at Lenoir-Rhyne*
10/1 at Wingate*
10/15 at North Greenville
10/22 UNC Pembroke (HC)
11/12 at Mars Hill*
(HC) – Homecoming
* Denotes South Atlantic Conference Game