MARS HILL, N.C. – The Lions' lost to Carson-Newman in South Atlantic Conference football action 30-21 Saturday afternoon at the Ammons Family Athletic Center and Meares Stadium. Mars Hill fell to 2-5 overall and 1-4 in the league. The Eagles improved to 5-2 on the season, 3-2 in the SAC.
David Salmon threw for 367 yards and accounted for all three of the Lions' scores with three passing touchdowns. He completed 26-46 passes and also caught a pass for a 15-yard gain. Keshaun Taylor caught seven passes for 175 yards and one score. Craig Rucker was on the receiving end of 10 passes for 135 yards and pulled in a 55-yard touchdown pass. Chris Leamon led the Lions' defense with a game high 11 tackles (8 solo) and a tackle-for-loss. Aundreas Hill followed with nine tackles (7 solo) while Andrew Wilkins and Earl Adams added eight stops apiece. Adams tallied two tackles-for-loss. Mars Hill accumulated 462 yards of total offense, 382 in the air.
Derrick Evans led the Eagles offense with 145 yards passing and 99 yards rushing. Jared Dillingham rushed 24 times for 196 yards and one score. Dorren Miller caught five passes for 61 yards and one touchdown. Sha'Heem Stupart led the Eagles defense with eight tackles (7 solo) and a pass break-up. Antonio Henderson followed with seven tackles, a tackle-for-loss, a pass break-up and a quarterback hurry.
Dillingham scored the first points of the contest on a five yard rush with 7:27 left in the first quarter to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead. Diantae Thomas dove in from two-yards out to cap off a 12-play, 94-yard drive and extend the C-N lead to 14-0. A 35-yard field goal by Elijah Tolbert with 5:36 remaining in the second quarter put the Eagles on top 17-0. Miller then hauled in a 44-yard touchdown strike from Evans with 4:02 left in the half. Eldrick Wilson blocked the PAT kick attempt and the Eagles led 23-0. Mars Hill got on the board at the 1:25 mark in the second frame when Salmon found Taylor on a 60-yard touchdown pass to trim the Lions' deficit to 23-7. The teams carried that score into the locker room at the intermission.
The Eagles recorded the only score in the third stanza on a 35-yard pass from Evans to Darvia DuBose at the 7:28 mark to give C-N a 30-7 advantage. Rucker's 55-yard scoring reception with 13:09 left in the fourth quarter cut the lead to 30-13 after Mars Hill could not convert a PAT pass attempt. A two-yard pass from Salmon to Jamel Hall ended the scoring in the contest with 10:25 left in regulation. A successful PAT pass from Salmon to Rucker made the final tally 30-21 in favor of the visitors.
Mars Hill will host Wingate in the Lions' annual Homecoming game next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.