A look at the area's small college football matchups on Saturday:
HICKORY, N.C. — Unstoppable force, meet the immovable wall.
The South Atlantic Conference-leading Bears boast the league's top defense, which is surrendering 13.7 points and 320 yards a game. The Eagles, a game back of Lenoir-Rhyne in the conference standings, have the SAC's top offense at 507 yards and 40.6 points a game. Lenoir-Rhyne's defense hasn't allowed a run longer than 40 yards this year. The Eagles have eight carries that have gone for more than 40 and have averaged 426 yards on the ground over their four-game winning streak.
The Bears, the top team in the Super Region II rankings, and the Eagles, seventh in Super Region II, clash Saturday at 2 p.m. inside Moretz Stadium.
Carson-Newman defeated Lenoir-Rhyne twice last year, once in the regular season 47-23 and again in the playoffs 38-35.
ATHENS, W.Va. — The Highland Cavaliers are coming off the first Mountain East Conference victory in school history and going up against a team chasing the league title.
A week ago, Virginia-Wise held off West Virginia State 18-10 for its first win of the year. The Mountain Lions turned back University of Charleston 9-3 in overtime to move to second in the MEC standings.
Concord's strength is its defense. The Mountain Lions are allowing just 11.9 points and 262.5 yards of total offense per game, and their pass defense ranks first in the MEC (144 ypg).
Against this daunting D, the Highland Cavs' James Long looks to break the school's single-season receiving record for yardage. The senior receiver is just 13 yards from Jason Lovett's 2007 total of 1,056.
Kickoff at Callaghan Stadium is set for 2 p.m.
PEMBROKE, N.C. — The Pioneers, in the midst of a three-game losing streak, try to right the ship against the Braves, who are coming off their first loss of the year.
Last week's 41-33 defeat by Wingate on homecoming spoiled a record-breaking day for Tusculum quarterback Bo Cordell, who became the NCAA Division II all-time leader in career passing yardage (15,049). The Pioneers average 346.8 ypg through the air.
Pembroke's first loss of the year came against Newberry, which took advantage of a late turnover to surprise the then No. 8-ranked Braves 24-21. Pembroke is listed as third in the Super Region II rankings.
Kickoff at Johnson Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m.
EMORY — The Wasps return to Fred Selfe Stadium for Senior Day after snapping a three-game losing streak. Emory & Henry hosts Old Dominion Athletic Conference cellar-dweller Bridgewater looking for its second straight league win.
Last week, the Wasps blocked a Catholic field goal try of 49 yards to preserve a 17-15 victory.
Senior quarterback Kyle Boden leads the E&H offense. He ranks second in the ODAC in passing yards per game with 276.2 and has thrown 13 touchdown passes, which is third in the league. The senior is hitting a league-best 72 percent of his passes and has thrown only three interceptions.
The Eagles suffered a 42-13 defeat at the hands of Washington and Lee last Saturday.