Story and photo courtesy of North Greenville Athletics
MARS HILL, N.C.
– Senior quarterback Willy Korn rushed for three touchdowns and North Greenville scored 35 unanswered points in 11 minutes in the third quarter to pummel Mars Hill College 58-32 at the Ammons Family Stadium in North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Division II national championship playoffs Saturday afternoon.
North Greenville (11-2) established new school records for wins and consecutive wins (9) and will advance to the NCAA Division II national quarterfinals next week against either Delta State (MS) or North Alabama.
Korn rushed for a season best 92 yards and completed 11 of 13 passes for 172 yards and one score to Sean Wright. Teryan Rucker added 78 and a touchdown, Idris Anderson rushed for a touchdown. The difference in the game was the NGU defense, which forced four Mars Hill turnovers. Jamarius Robinson intercepted passes on back-to-back series in the third quarter and took one back for a 45 yard touchdown. Nick Rosamonda added yet another touchdown off an interception in the fourth quarter on a 55 yard run.
In the wide open contest that saw 919 yards of total offense, NGU’s defense blew the game open in the third quarter. Mars Hill’s Jonas Randolph rushed for 200 yards and a touchdown and freshman receiver Dimitri Holmes caught two TD passes to lead the Lions.
With the game tied 16-16 with 3:32 left in the first half, Korn marched NGU to the Mars Hill three yard line with five seconds left. The key in the drive was when Korn hit Freddie Martino on a fourth and seven play with 22 seconds left. That put the ball at the MHC 14, and Korn hit Taylor Malphrus for a 10 yard gain. After spiking the ball, Korn threaded the ball through two defenders and hit Wright with a sizzling touchdown with five seconds left that propelled the Crusaders into the end zone with a 23-16 lead.
The victory over Mars Hill insured that North Greenville had beaten every team in the South Atlantic Conference for the first time ever this season.