JEFFERSON CITY — Carson-Newman jumped out to a 21-0 lead and held on to beat Newberry 37-27 on Saturday in an NCAA Division II playoff game at Burke-Tarr Stadium.
The fourth-seeded Eagles improved to 10-2, logging their first 10-win season since 2009, and advanced to the second round next week where they will face top-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne.
“I’m very excited that these guys showed character and maturity and didn’t let the circumstances dictate how we responded,” Carson-Newman coach Ken Sparks said. “There were several instances where we could have responded in a negative way if we had lesser character. We look forward to playing another week.”
The high-powered Eagles’ offense was led by quarterback De’Andre Thomas, who threw for 205 yards, going 9-for-19 with a touchdown. Thomas also rushed for three TDs on 24 carries, finishing up with 85 rushing yards.
Brandon Baker ran the ball 17 times for 127 yards and a score to pace Carson-Newman’s ground game.
The Eagles’ defense recorded six quarterback sacks in the game. Jaycob Coleman had 11 tackles for Carson-Newman and Jonathan Sites added eight tackles, two sacks, three tackles for a loss and three hurries.
“We’ve struggled at times this year to be a shutdown defense,” Sparks said. “But they were relentless in getting pressure on the quarterback. We made some really big plays on that side of the football.”
Newberry (9-3) was paced by Raleigh Yeldell, who ran for 89 yards and a touchdown and threw for 130 yards and another TD. Corey Washington had 89 receiving yards but did most of his damage on kick returns where he tallied 177 yards and two long touchdowns.
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