HICKORY – Lenoir-Rhyne University will have a chance this weekend to sit alone atop the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) football standings.
The Bears (4-1, 3-0), after winning their fourth straight game on Saturday via a 35-10 home victory over Tusculum (2-2, 1-1) travel to Newberry, S.C. on Saturday for another conference game.
Newberry is the only other SAC team unbeaten in the league (1-0).
T.J. Smith, a senior wide receiver, sparked the win over Tusculum with five catches for 142 yards and three touchdowns. He has seven this season after scoring only twice a year ago.
Ameen Stevens ran 15 times for 163 yards and a TD and Jaquay Mitchell added 106 yards rushing on seven carries and scored for the fifth consecutive game for the Bears.
LRU’s defense held the Pioneers to 27 yards rushing on 27 carries, holding Jordan Shippy to minus 5 yards on five carries after he had run for 258 yards the game before.
For the second straight game, Clayton Horton led the Bears in tackles with 11, including 2 ½ for lost yardage and a forced fumble, and Sherrod Williams provided seven tackles.
LRU rushed 55 times for 349 yards and the offense had more than 500 yards for the first time since 2015 (503 against Mars Hill).
The Bears’ offense has improved, scoring 208 points after having 194 in 10 games a year ago.