Story and photo courtesy of Mars Hill Athletics
MARS HILL, N.C. - The Lions football team accumulated 514 total yards en route to a 35-28 victory over no. 24 Newberry College Saturday afternoon at the Ammons Family Athletic Center and Meares Stadium. Mars Hill improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the SAC while the Wolves suffered their first loss of the season (4-1, 2-1 SAC).
Dimitri Holmes led the offense with 182 reception yards and two touchdowns on three catches. Deunta Jennings had four catches for 103 yards and the same number of scores. Shaikel Davis rushed for 157 yards while Jon Richt threw for 342 yards completing 11-26 passes. He accounted for all four of the touchdown passes. He was picked off three times. Troy Harris led the Lions' defense with 13 tackles, six solo, a tackle-for-loss, a forced fumble and four quarterback hurries. Rudy Cabral tallied 11 stops, eight solo, a tackles-for-loss and a recovered fumble. Mam Nyang added 10 tackles and a forced fumble.
Corey Washington caught 10 passes for 124 yards and one score to pace the Wolves offensively. WT Murden was 16-42 for 170 yards and two touchdown strikes. He threw one interception. Dureal Elmore rushed 17 times for 88 yards and a touchdown. Apollo Stretch recorded nine tackles, six solo and an interception to lead the Wolves defense. Edmond Robinson had eight tackles, one for loss.
Jennings ran in from eight yards out with 7:04 left in the first quarter to give the Lions a 7-0 lead. The rush capped off a 12-play, 64-yard drive that consumed 6:32. Washington tied the game at 7-all with 5:23 left in the first frame when he hauled in a 10-yard pass from Murden.
The second quarter belonged to the Lions. Richt found Jennings for a 36-yard touchdown strike at the 6:24 mark and then Holmes had a 92-yard scoring reception with 1:30 left in the first half. The Lions went into the locker room at halftime ahead 21-7.
The Wolves won the third quarter 14-7. Ryan Williams dove in from two yards out to cut the deficit to 21-14 (9:21) before Jennings extended the Lions advantage to 28-14 on a 52-yard scoring pass from Richt with 7:22 left in the third period. Murden then found Jalen Cook on a 27-yard scoring pass with 3:34 left in the quarter to make the score 28-21 in favor of the hosts.
Holmes then scored what would later prove to be the game winner on a 75-yard reception 12 seconds (14:48) into the fourth quarter. Elmore ran in from four yards out on the Wolves next possession (11:14) to make the final tally 35-28. The Lions defense held strong the remainder of the contest. In Newberry's last possession they started the drive on their own 15 yard line. The Wolves would get 16 plays in the drive but were unable to get past their own 47 yard line before the Lions' defense made them turn the ball over on downs with 19 ticks left in regulation. MHC downed the ball to end the contest and obtain the victory.
Mars Hill will face Wingate University on the road next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.