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Small college rundown: Eagles, Pioneers to face off for 43rd time on gridiron

October 18th, 2013 1:24 pm by Staff Report

Small college rundown: Eagles, Pioneers to face off for 43rd time on gridiron

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

Tusculum (3-3, 1-2) at Carson-Newman (5-1, 2-1) 

JEFFERSON CITY — The Eagles welcome the Pioneers to Burke-Tarr Stadium for the 43rd meeting between the South Atlantic Conference rivals.

Carson-Newman leads the all-time series 31-9-2 in a rivalry that dates back to 1896. The Eagles trumped the Pioneers 66-36 last season in a shootout that saw Carson-Newman produce three 150-yard rushers for the first time in the program history. Brandon Baker, Andy Hibbett and former C-N quarterback Brandon Haywood all surpassed the mark. 

Kickoff on Saturday is set for 3 p.m.

Tusculum, which has never won at Burke-Tarr Stadium, is looking for its first victory on the road since Nov. 6, 2010. The Pioneers are led by quarterback Bo Cordell, who need 394 yards passing to eclipse the NCAA Division II record of 14,733, which is held by West Liberty's Zach Amedro. Justin Houston is Cordell's top target, snaring 52 passes for 541 yards and three scores this season.  

The Eagles beat Shorter last weekend, a 45-28 victory in which they gave up 250 yards on scoring plays alone. C-N tailback Baker, after spending much of the first half of the year nicked up, rushed for 145 yards in the win — the 12th 100-yard effort of his career but his first since stringing four consecutive 140-yard rushing performances to close out 2012.

When Ken Sparks takes the field with Carson-Newman for the homecoming matchup, he'll be coaching his 400th career game.

The Pioneers suffered a 44-6 loss to unbeaten SAC foe Newberry last week. Cordell finished 12-for-22 for 161 yards after playing just one half. The senior was injured in the second quarter and held out for precautionary reasons after halftime. 

Virginia-Wise (0-6, 0-4) at Glenville State College (2-4, 2-3)

GLENVILLE, W.Va.  — For the fifth time this inaugural Mountain East Conference season, the Highland Cavaliers are playing a school for the first time in program history.

The Pioneers are coming off a 17-10 loss to University of Charleston. The Cavs, trying to end a seven-game losing streak Saturday, fell 42-17 to Shepherd last week.

Glenville State has the league's second-ranked rushing defense, allowing 110.5 yards on the ground per game, a stat that doesn't bode well for Virginia-Wise's struggling running game. The Cavs rushed for minus-35 yards in the loss to Shepherd.

The Pioneers' offense is led by Rahmann Lee, who has run for seven touchdowns in six games. Lee is averaging 5 yards per carry and 108.3 ypg.

Virginia-Wise senior multipurpose weapon James Long leads the MEC in receiving yards (778) and all-purpose yards (1,361). Long is just 280 yards from the school single-season record of 1,056, held by Jason Lovett.

Having caught 45 passes including five for TDs, Long also is crucial in the return game. He's amassed 590 yards and two touchdowns returning kicks. And last week Long threw a 40-yard pass to fellow receiver Terrence Younger.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

Hampden-Sydney (4-1, 2-0) at Emory & Henry (3-2, 0-2)

EMORY — The Wasps are shooting for their first Old Dominion Athletic Conference win on homecoming weekend. The Tigers enter the game in a three-way tie with Randolph-Macon and Guilford for first place in the league.

The Wasps' league-best scoring offense goes up against the Tigers' ODAC-leading scoring defense. E&H is averaging 34.8 points per game; Hampden-Sydney's "D" is allowing 14.0 ppg. The Tigers, however, lead the league in total offense (489.0 ypg), total defense (215.4), rushing defense (80.6 ypg) and pass offense (306.4 ypg). The Wasps counter with the ODAC's top pass defense, allowing just 131.4 yards per game through the air.

Emory & Henry is coming off a 21-17 setback against Randolph-Macon last week while Hampden-Sydney beat Bridgewater 28-7.

The Tigers have won the past five games against the Wasps, though the last year's matchup was a tight one. After falling behind 26-7 in the second quarter, E&H stormed back and scored a touchdown with time running out to pull within two points. Hampden-Sydney held on the Wasps' 2-point conversion try, however, to escape with a 38-36 win.

Kickoff Saturday is at 1 p.m.

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