JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Mars Hill fell to Carson-Newman in South Atlantic Conference football action 49-27 Saturday afternoon at Burke-Tarr Stadium. The Lions are now 2-5 overall and 2-3 in the SAC. The Eagles improved to 5-2 on the season, 4-1 in the league.
Craig Rucker accounted for all four of the Lions' scores recording four touchdowns on the day, two rushing and two receiving. Rucker caught eight passes for 209 yards. It was the first time since 1992 that the Eagles have allowed over 200 yards receiving to an opposing player. Rucker leads the SAC in receiving yards per game (140.7) and receiving touchdowns (13). Austin Brown threw for 220 yards and one touchdown completing 16-35 passes. Brown is third in the league in passing yards per game (223.1) and passing touchdowns (13). Tyler Ferguson caught seven passes for 60 yards while Christopher Roberts rushed 17 times for 81 yards. Tray Smith led the Lions' defense with nine tackles followed by Malcolm Means and Keon Cezar who added eight stops apiece. Carl Robertgeau added seven tackles and an interception. Jacari Williams posted five tackles and a fumble recovery.
Antonio Wimbush rushed for 144 yards on 13 carries averaging 11.1 yards per rush. Derrick Evans rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 52 yards in the contest. Darius Williams recorded 11 tackles to lead the Eagles defense. Temoris Coats added seven tackles while Desmond Fairell tallied five tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Eagles led 21-0 after the first quarter and score 28 unanswered points before Rucker put the Lions on the board with 12:43 left in the second frame on a 86-yard touchdown pass from Brown. After Sherron Jackson scored on a 35-yard touchdown rush with 8:49 left in the second quarter, Rucker dove in from two yards out to send the teams into the locker room at halftime with the Eagles holding a 35-14 advantage.
Marcus Williams had the only score in the third stanza on a 63-yard touchdown run to extend the Eagles lead to 42-14 with 13:39 on the clock. James Urzua found Rucker on a 63-yard scoring strike with 11:28 left in the fourth quarter to trim the Lions deficit to 42-21. Evans ended the scoring (49-21) for C-N on a three-yard dive with 4:16 left in regulation. Rucker scored on a five-yard run with 1:53 left in the contest to make the final tally 49-27 in favor of the hosts.
Mars Hill will play at SAC rival Wingate next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.