Ken Sparks wins 300th career game, C-N moves to 1-0 for 2012.

Ken Sparks wins 300th career game, C-N moves to 1-0 for 2012.

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Much like the previous 299 victories in his career, win number 300 for Carson-Newman head football coach Ken Sparks came with a punishing ground game.

Carson-Newman churned up 474 yards on the ground and held off a late Glenville State rally to win 56-46 at Burke-Tarr Stadium. 

While the win was meaningful to Sparks, he said there is more to life than football.

"I'm just grateful to be associated with Carson-Newman and all these kids and coaches." the 68-year-old Sparks said. "They're the one's who've invested their heart and their lives and given so much to be apart of this over the years. 

"I'm still a nobody, but I'm still trying to honor the Lord with what we are trying to do – I'm just grateful to be a small part of it."

Sparks is one of 11 coaches who are a part of the 300-win club.  He ties Delaware's Tubby Raymond for 10th all time with his 300th career victory. 

Brandon Baker (Miami, Fla.) led the charge on the ground with three touchdowns and 205 yards rushing on 18 carries.  Baker found the end zone from 60, 2 and 31 yards out. 

"I got hurt almost 365 days ago, so this was really nice to get out there and run hard again," Baker said. "It's a really good day for Carson-Newman and Coach Sparks, he's a legend."

C-N took a 35-14 lead into the locker room, but Glenville State would score on its first five possessions of the second half to close within three – scoring 26 unanswered.  However, the Eagles burned clock in the fourth quarter, possessing the football for more than 10 minutes.

Carson-Newman kept the football for 6:19 on a drive that ended in a turnover-on-downs and then 3:05 on a possession that ended in a Brandon Haywood (Rockmart, Ga.) six-yard touchdown plunge up the middle. 

That put the Carson-Newman ahead by 10 for good.    

Haywood had a solid outing on the ground as well, scoring twice and racking up 96 yards on 13 carries. 

"A lot of the execution came from running the option, it hit home," Haywood said. "The offensive line open up holes and I took advantage, so did the running backs."

Carson-Newman now prepares for Lenoir-Rhyne after a bye week, a prospect that is daunting for the newest member of the 300-win club.

"We didn't play well," Sparks said. "I hope we learn a lot from a very narrow victory.  Give Glenville credit, they did a solid job."

Kickoff for the Lenoir-Rhyne game is at 1 p.m. on September 15.  The Farm Bureau Tailgate Show revs up the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network one hour prior to that on the air on Joy 620 (Knoxville), ESPN Radio the Zone (Sevierville) and 

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