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Small college rundown: Cavs, Pioneers celebrate homecoming; Eagles look to stay unbeaten

September 27th, 2013 3:37 pm by Staff Report

Small college rundown: Cavs, Pioneers celebrate homecoming; Eagles look to stay unbeaten

A look at the area small colleges' football matchups on Saturday:

Union College (0-3) at Virginia-Wise (0-3)

WISE — Virginia-Wise will celebrate homecoming against a familiar foe: former Mid-South Conference rival Union College.

The Highland Cavaliers and the Bulldogs spent the past 11 seasons as Mid-South members before Virginia-Wise moved up to the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference. Saturday's game will be the teams' first non-conference matchup since 1993 as well as the Cavs' final non-conference game of the season.

Union holds an 8-5 lead in the series though Virginia-Wise has won the past two meetings, including 14-10 a year ago.

The Cavaliers enter the game in search of offensive production. They've scored just two touchdowns in the past two games. Kicker Paul Melshen has been responsible for the bulk of the scoring, including last week in a 38-15 loss to the University of Charleston (W.Va.) when Melshen went 3-for-3 on field goals.

The Bulldogs have been depending on their ground game this season. Led by Leonard Dixon, they've gained 678 yards this season. The junior is averaging 5.6 yards per carry in piling up 358 yards and two touchdowns.

Both teams have used three different quarterbacks this season.

Virginia-Wise's defense has forced eight fumbles this season, recovering four. The Cavaliers have fumbled just once this year.

Kickoff in the Cavs' only night game at Carl Smith Stadium this season is set for 6 p.m.

Catawba (2-1) at Carson-Newman (3-0)

JEFFERSON CITY — Carson-Newman looks to continue its best start in six years when Catawba rolls into Mossy Creek for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Burke-Tarr Stadium. 

Carson-Newman started the 2007 season 6-0 before dropping its Week 7 game to Catawba 55-49. It was the last time the Indians beat the Eagles on their home field. 

The Eagles own a 20-2 series lead against the Indians in Jefferson City and are ahead in the series 36-9-1 overall. Carson-Newman has won the last five meetings by an average score of 41-16.  The Eagles have scored at least 41 in every meeting since 2009. 

Carson-Newman is coming off a 41-14 win over Brevard.

The Eagles must watch their penalties and fumbles to succeed against a disciplined Catawba squad. C-N ranks in the bottom 10 of 162 Division II football teams for fumbles lost with seven. The Eagles are in the bottom 20 for penalties per game with a little more than nine flags a contest.

Led by senior quarterback Danny O'Bryan, a Wisconsin transfer, the Indians have committed just one turnover this season.

Lenoir-Rhyne (2-1, 1-0) at Tusculum (2-1, 0-0)

GREENEVILLE — Tusculum picked a tough opponent for its homecoming celebrations. In a collision of powerful offenses, the Pioneers will kick off their 15th South Atlantic Conference campaign with a game against two-time defending league champion Lenoir-Rhyne.

Tusculum is averaging 51 points and 547.3 yards per game behind record-breaking quarterback Bo Cordell. The Bears' running game, led by quarterback Miles Freeman, is churning out 352 rushing yards a game and averaging 411.7 yards of total offense. Freeman leads the team with 376 rushing yards.

Lenoir-Rhyne also boasts one of the SAC's top defenses, which is limiting opponents to just an average of 46.7 yards on the ground. The Bears have recorded 13 sacks this year.

Tusculum's improved run defense is giving up just 70 yards a game.

The Pioneers are coming off a 39-36 setback against North Greenville. The Bears opened their SAC season with a 34-13 dismantling of Wingate. Tusculum leads the series 10-6, but Lenoir-Rhyne has won three of the past four meetings.

Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at Pioneer Field.

Emory & Henry (3-0) is idle this week.

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