C-N Athletics New Year’s Countdown: Number 2

Sparks and Tusculum head coach Frankie DeBusk shake hands following Sparks' 314th career victory
Sparks and Tusculum head coach Frankie DeBusk shake hands following Sparks' 314th career victory

Tusculum highlight reel

Ken Sparks postgame interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Ken Sparks – Legend. Coaching in 400 games and winning his 314, that's what it took to get the second spot on the New Year's Countdown. 

Carson-Newman head coach Ken Sparks coached his 400thcareer game and career win number 314 was a sweet one as the Eagles rolled up 628 yards of total offense-557 on the ground- as they defeated Tusculum 45-17 on Homecoming Oct. 19  at Burke-Tarr Stadium.

The win by Sparks ties him with Eastern Kentucky's Roy Kidd and Chicago's Amos Alonzo Stagg for seventh place in career wins in NCAA history. The C-N mentor was quick to give praise to many others for the success he has enjoyed on Mossy Creek.

"I have been blessed with good people, surrounded with good people and been able to coach with good people who have responded to challenges," Sparks said following that game. "Our main goal has always been that we would do something that would enhance someone's life for eternity. The way to do that is to do everything as unto the Lord and I am grateful that He has allowed me to live long enough to coach in 400 games. That's a long time," Sparks said with a laugh.  

The win was the then No. 19 Eagles' (6-1, 3-1 SAC) fifth consecutive over the Pioneers (3-4, 1-3 SAC).  C-N's 628 yards of total offense and 557 yards rushing are both the most for the program since C-N beat TC last season thanks to 649 yards of total offense and 563 yards rushing.

The C-N offense was paced by quarterback De'Andre Thomas (Milledgeville, Ga.) who ran 19 times for 182 yards and two scores as well as passing for 71 yards. Brandon Baker (Miami, Fla.) carried the ball 14 times for 141 yards and two scores and Andy Hibbett (Corryton, Tenn.) scored two touchdowns of his own for the Eagles. (6-1, 3-1). TraShaun Ward (Miami, Fla.) had a big game on special teams as he had 105 yards on three carries and added 39 yards on three punt returns.

Check cneagles.com, @cnathletics on Twitter and facebook.com/cneagles each day to find out what ranks where.

We'll reveal the top moment New Year's Eve.  Moment one was a vote away from being a unanimous selection.   

Carson-Newman athletic administrators, coaches, assistants and trainers contributed to the rankings. 

No. 1 - ??? revealed  12-31

No. 2 – Sparks coaches in 400th career game, passes Kidd, Stagg on all-time wins list

No. 3 – Ish Sanders becomes men's basketball's all-time leading scorer for the DII era

No. 4 – Rachel Harper's under-the-net save

No. 5 – The Eagles win a 50-point tiebreak

No. 6 – C-N women's golf tears up the Highlands Course at the SMI

No. 7 – Gabby Gianeselli's Golden Goal at LMU

No. 8 – Kim-Moss' final round at the McDonough Cup

No. 9 – Burstrom busts for 27 as C-N snaps streak at L-R

No. 10 - C-N swimming wins its first event

Bears maul Eagles 37-3
November 2, 2013 Bears maul Eagles 37-3