No. 14 Carson-Newman Defeats Tusculum, 70-35, on Record-Setting Day
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — The 14th-ranked Carson-Newman
football team ran away from South Atlantic Conference rival
Tusculum, 70-35, Saturday afternoon on a record-setting Senior Day
at Burke-Tarr Stadium.
The teams combined to break six school records, four of which were by C-N.
With the victory, the Eagles (9-2, 7-0 SAC) close out regular season play on a nine-game winning streak. C-N will find out its postseason schedule on Sunday, as the 24-team field for the 2009 NCAA Division II playoffs will be announced on a segment between 3 and 3:30 p.m. on ESPNEWS. Tusculum ends its season at 3-7 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
After gaining more than 1,200 yards in its last two contests, C-N continued to dominate offensively on Saturday in record-setting fashion. The Eagles finished the day with a school-record 803 yards of total offense, including 671 yards on the ground, which is also a record.
“There weren’t any defensive records today,” C-N head coach Ken Sparks quipped. “But we are grateful for this group of kids that keep getting better as the year goes along. This game never got comfortable until about three minutes left because there were so many quick scores. Hopefully, when the NCAA pairings come out, we will have a week to rest a little bit and get prepared to make a run.”
Senior running back Buck Wakefield (Drummonds, Tenn.) broke the school’s single game mark for rushing yards in a game for a second straight week by amassing 332 yards and five touchdowns, which is also a new C-N record. Wakefield rushed for 303 yards and two touchdowns in a win at Wingate last Saturday.
Eagles senior quarterback Alex Good (Greensboro, N.C.) surpassed the 7,000-yard mark for total offense in his career as he passed for 132 yards and two touchdowns and added 128 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Wakefield and Good have now rushed for 1,117 and 1,020 yards, respectively, which is the first time in 20 years C-N has had two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season.
Doug Belk (Valdosta, Ga.) added 80 yards rushing on seven carries, while Ricky Harris (Perry, Ga.) had 60 yards on six carries in the win.
C-N senior receiver Reggie Hubbard (Chattanooga, Tenn.) hauled in one pass, which was a 68-yard touchdown reception, while senior Charles Dobson (Umatilla, Fla.) also turned his only reception of the game into a 64-yard touchdown.
Freshman quarterback Bo Cordell (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the Pioneers as he completed 37-of-57 passes for a school-record 524 yards and two touchdowns.
Cordell’s main target was senior receiver Ryan Tallent (Maryville, Tenn.), who grabbed 10 passes for 141 yards. Tallent also rushed for 12 yards and had 56 yards on kickoff returns, giving him 209 all-purpose yards on the day. He now has 3,838 all-purpose yards for his career, which is a new Tusculum record.
Nate Binder (Ontario, Canada) caught three passes for 107 yards and touchdown, while Jarrell NeSmith (Russellville, Ala.) nabbed nine passes for 97 yards and a touchdown in the loss.
The C-N defense may have given up 497 yards on the day but it was able to force two Pioneer turnovers and recorded six sacks for minus-40 yards. Eagle sophomore defensive end Zeke Andrews (Eastman, Ga.) led the way with two sacks.
Junior linebacker Zachary Norman (Greenwood, S.C.) tallied 16 tackles to lead the Tusculum defense, while Miles Washington (Concord, Calif.) recorded 12 tackles.
The teams came out firing in the first half as they combined for 63 points, with the longest of the nine scoring drives lasting three minutes and six seconds. The Eagles took a 42-21 lead into the locker room before putting the game out of reach with three third-quarter touchdowns.
“It was a rewarding day and has been a very rewarding year so far,” Sparks said. “Hopefully, we can keep it going.”