GREENSBORO, N.C. – Mars Hill fell to NCAA Division I opponent N.C. A&T 56-0 Saturday night at Aggie Stadium. The Lions fell to 1-1 on the season While N.C. A&T improved to 2-0 on the year. Turnovers plagued the Lions in the loss as they turned the ball over five times with three fumbles and two interceptions.
David Salmon threw for 231 yards completing 22-33 passes. Unfortunately, he was picked off twice. Keshaun Taylor was on the receiving end of six of his passes for 82 yards. Javon Harbison also caught six passes for 49 yards. Jeremy Middleton led the Lions' defense with eight tackles (6 solo). Preston Lockwood and Jerjuan Edwards followed with seven stops apiece. Edwards added a tackle-for-loss.
Quarterback Lamar Raynard led the Aggies with 262 passing yards completing 17-25 passes including five touchdown strikes. Marquell Cartwright rushed for 121 yards on 18 carries and crossed the touchdown plane once. Elijah Bell caught six passes for 60 yards and recorded three touchdown receptions. Franklin McCain and Jeremy Taylor tallied 10 tackles each to pace the Aggies defense. Taylor added a forced fumble, recovered a fumble and had a 32-yard interception return.
Raynard found Bell on a three-yard touchdown reception with six minutes left in the first quarter to give the Aggies a 7-0 lead. With just 32 seconds left in the first frame, Raynard hit Malik Wilson for a 53-yard touchdown pass to extend the Aggies lead to 14-0.
Raynard then threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Jaquil Capel with 9:44 left in the second quarter to put N.C. A&T ahead 21-0. Bell then scored two touchdowns in the final minutes of the first half. He caught an 11-yard pass from Raynard at the 2:37 mark and then pulled in a 22-yard scoring reception with three seconds left in the first half of play to send the teams into the locker room at the intermission with N.C. A&T leading 35-0.
Julius Reynolds picked up a MHU fumble and scampered six yards to account for the only score in the third stanza (42-0). Cartwright found the endzone on a five-yard rush with 14:43 left in the fourth quarter to give the Aggies a 49-0 lead. Kashon Baker ended the scoring in the contest with an eight-yard scoring run with 3:30 left in regulation to make the final tally 56-0 in favor of the hosts.
Mars Hill will play their home and South Atlantic Conference opener on Saturday, September 16, when they host Lenoir-Rhyne. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in the Ammons Family Athletic Center and Meares Stadium