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Eagles rushing attack too much for Braves

By Curtis Brooks
Sports Editor

October 25, 2012

Photo by Jonathan Bym
Freshman linebacker Ronnie Moore makes a solo tackle on a Carson-Newman ball carrier. Moore registered a career-high eight tackles against the Eagles on Oct. 20.

The Black and Gold football team dropped their second consecutive game in as many weeks on Oct. 20 when the visiting Carson-Newman Eagles defeated the Braves 31-10 at Grace P. Johnson Stadium.

Carson-Newman entered with a distinctive triple option offense that has been giving opposing defenses fits as the Eagles have averaged over 330 yards on the ground a game through their first six games.

The road team's 351 rushing yard against the Braves changed the whole complexion of the game, as the Eagles' offense dominated the time of possession en route to their fifth win of the campaign.

The Eagles converted on half of their third downs and both of their fourth down attempts as they had possession of the ball for over 35 minutes.

After an uneventful and scoreless first quarter, the Braves were the first to put points on the board in the opening moments of the second quarter.

Freshman place kicker Connor Haskins knocked down a field goal from 22 yards out to give the home squad their only lead of the game.

The Eagles reeled off 31 unanswered points in the second and third quarter, starting with a 48-yard touchdown toss from senior quarterback Brandon Haywood to senior wide receiver Jason Brown in the road team's first possession of the second stanza.

Junior halfback Tyron Douglas gave Carson-Newman a 21-3 lead going into the halftime break after scoring a pair of touchdowns that traveled for 40 and four yards, respectively.

Following a quick three and out by the Black and Gold in the first series of the second half, the Eagles were able to put together another touchdown scoring drive.

Starting at their own 29-yard line, it only took the Eagles a trio of plays to put the ball in the end zone again.

The combination of Haywood and Brown connected on their second touchdown of the afternoon after Haywood found his comrade for a 60-yard touchdown strike.

Both of Brown's receptions on the day went for Eagles' touchdowns as he gathered a game-high 108 receiving yards.

With just a few ticks left on the clock in the third quarter, Carson-Newman scored for the final time in the afternoon when kicker Curt Duncan knocked down a 25-yard field goal attempt to give the visitors a 31-3 lead going into the final quarter.

The Braves scored their lone touchdown in the fourth quarter when junior quarterback Luke Charles connected with senior wide receiver Donald Britt on a 64-yard touchdown toss.

After a series of punts by the road team and a three-and-out by the Braves, Carson-Newman was able to run the remainder of the clock out at the seven-minute mark to hold on to a 31-10 victory.

"Give credit to Carson-Newman; they came in and did what they had to do today," UNCP head coach Pete Shinnick said.

"We need to come in on Monday and dedicate ourselves to improving on the mistakes that we have made the last couple of games. We need to continue to get better week after week," Shinnick added.

Haywood led the Eagles to victory with his dual-threat abilities.

The senior signal caller threw for 124 yards after completing four of his nine passing attempts and a pair of touchdown tosses.

Haywood also ran for 89 yards on 14 rushing attempts for the visiting unit.

The junior duo of running back Brandon Baker and Douglas combined for 219 rushing yards as each running back passed the century mark for the Eagles.

Charles led the Black and Gold offense, throwing for over 294 passing yards on 23-of-37 passing with a fourth quarter touchdown toss and interception.

The Braves' rushing attack was held to only 38 total yards, which is the team's lowest rushing total in five seasons.

Sophomore linebacker Darcus Elliot led the Braves defense with a game-high dozen tackles, four of which were individual stops.

UNCP now drops to 5-3 on the season after the loss while Carson-Newman improved to 5-2 on the season.

The all-time series between the two schools is now tied at two a piece.

Looking forward

The Braves final home game, also Homecoming game, of the season will be Oct. 27 against the Wolves of Newberry College.

The Black and Gold held on for a 23-20 road victory over Newberry last season at Setlzer Field.

The 2012 edition of the Wolves are 5-3 on the season after beating South Atlantic Conference foe 31-17 in a conference game on Oct. 20.

Sophomore quarterback W.T. Murden and junior receivers Corey Washington and Jason Livingston lead the Wolves' high-powered offense.

Murden has completed 153 of his 258 passing attempts on the season for 1,850 yards with 17 touchdown tosses and six interceptions.

Washington has hauled in 42 receptions for 675 yards and seven touchdowns as the Wolves' leading receiver.

Livingston has complemented Washington in the passing game as he has made 26 catches for 313 yards and five touchdowns on the season.

Senior middle linebacker Apollo Stretch is the voice of the Newberry defense and for good reason.

Stretch is currently tied for third in the SAC with 73 tackles, 48 are solo stops, this season.

The following week the Black and Gold will be idle before returning to the gridiron on Nov. 10 to take on West Liberty in the final game of the regular season.

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