From Staff Reports
HICKORY, N.C. — The Concord University football team pulled off a shocker to open their season on Saturday night.
The Mountain Lions beat the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne 18-10, breaking their hosts’ 12-game home win streak at Moretz Stadium. The Bears began the game ranked 23rd in a preseason poll of NCAA Division II schools.
In his first start, Concord quarterback Brian Novak completed 11 of 19 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown. Tiko Henderson caught five passes for 59 yards and Derrick Williams had three catches for 60.
Gary Saylor ran a Lenoir-Rhyne fumble 28 yards for a second-half touchdown and caused a first-half fumble. Jake Lilly had 13 tackles and Davon Marion added nine for the Concord defense.
The Bears were hurt by 102 penalty yards and six turnovers, while Concord lost the ball four times.
The Mountain Lions took an 11-0 lead into halftime, scoring all their points in the second quarter.
Lilly forced Bears quarterback Miles Freeman to fumble, and Darryl Johnson pounced on the ball at the Lenoir-Rhyne 27. Andy Ellington then broke the scoring ice with a 34-yard field goal.
The Mountain Lions drove 54 yards in three minutes and scored on a 13-yard pass play from Novak to Shaun Workinger. Lilly passed to Tony Miller for a two-point conversion.
In the final minute of the half, Concord’s Gary Saylor caused the Bears’ fourth turnover when his hit caused Jarrod Spears to fumble the ball at the Concord 29. Riyahd Richardson made the recovery.
Lenoir-Rhyne took the opening kickoff of the second half and turned the opportunity into a 37-yard field goal by Zach Neumann.
Saylor rambled 28 yards to the goal with a fumble recovery and Ellington’s kick produced an 18-3 Concord lead late in the third period.
A 19-yard touchdown pass from Freeman to Spears with eight seconds left, along with Neumann’s point-after kick, narrowed the lead to eight points.
The Bears recovered an on-side kick but a penalty for an ineligible receiver downfield ruined any chance for a last-second score.
Calvinaugh Jones led Concord’s rushing attack with 48 yards on 20 carries.
Freeman, running out of the triple option, amassed 110 yards on 20 attempts, and was 8 for 14 passing for 83 yards.
Concord opens its home schedule and plays its first game in the new Mountain East Conference next Saturday, hosting West Virginia State. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Lenoir-Rhyne will travel to Davidson.
at Moretz Stadium
Concord.............0 11 7 0 — 18
Lenoir-Rhyne......0 0 3 7 — 10
CU - Ellington 34 FG, 11:31
CU - Workinger 13 pass from Novak (Miller pass from Lilly), 5:49
LR - Neumann 37 FG, 10:11
CU - G. Saylor 28 fumble return (Ellington kick), 4:27
LR - Spears 19 pass from Freeman (Neumann kick), 0:08