Carson-Newman falls at Newberry, 47-22

NEWBERRY, S.C ( release) -- The Carson-Newman Eagles (2-1, 1-1 SAC) fell to the Newberry Wolves (4-0, 2-0 SAC) 47-22 at Setzler Field on Saturday night.

The Eagles jumped out to a 12-7 lead in the first quarter, sparked by an 84-yard touchdown run by junior running back Solomon Duanah (Johnson City, Tenn.) on the second play from scrimmage. Newberry outscored Carson-Newman 40-10 in the final three quarters to hand the Eagles their first loss of the 2012 season.

“They did a better job of blocking and running than we did,” said Carson-Newman head coach Ken Sparks. “Every time we needed to make a play we didn’t, and every time we had something happen that we might could build on we gave it back.”

Duanah’s touchdown run and the ensuing extra point gave Carson-Newman an early 7-0 lead. On Newberry’s second drive, the Wolves answered on a seven-yard touchdown pass from W.T. Murden to Corey Washington to even the score at seven with 7:45 left in the first quarter.

With 3:16 remaining in the opening quarter, and Newberry backed up against their own end zone, Carson-Newman’s Jarrett-East Brown blocked a JoJo Morris punt that rolled out of the end zone for a safety, putting the Eagles ahead 9-7. Carson-Newman saw junior kicker Curt Duncan (Morristown, Tenn.) nail a 35-yard field goal to put the Eagles ahead 12-7 with just two seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Newberry’s next drive ended in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Murden to Ozzie Exume to give Newberry a 14-12 lead with 10:56 left in the second quarter. The game remained a two-point contest until the final minute of the half, when Newberry scored a pair of touchdowns. After John Gadson’s 11 yard-touchdown run gave the Wolves a 21-12 lead, Dureal Elmore would punch in a one yard touchdown run with one second left in the second quarter to put the halftime score at 28-12 in favor of Newberry.

The Eagles defense stiffened in the third quarter, as the teams traded field goals. Duncan connected on a 43-yard kick to trim Newberry’s lead to 28-15 with 4:16 left in the third before Newberry’s Kyle Mackey hit a 32-yard field goal with just over a minute left in the third quarter, putting the score at 31-15.

In the fourth quarter, Newberry collected a safety and Murden’s third touchdown pass of the night to put the lead at 47-15. With 2:42 left in the game, Carson-Newman quarterback David Freeman (Detroit, Mich.) scored on a 69-yard touchdown run for the final score of the night.

Newberry racked up 565 yards of total offense, while Carson-Newman’s offense accounted for 312 yards, 258 of those coming on the ground. Duanah led the Eagles with 115 yards rushing with a touchdown. Quarterback Brandon Haywood (Rockmart, Ga.) completed four of nine passes for 61 yards, yet was sacked five times in the loss.

Penalties hurt the Eagles, as Carson-Newman was penalized 15 times for 96 yards. The Eagles received a spark from freshman kick returner TraShaun Ward (Miami, Fla.), who returned seven kickoffs for 183 yards, his longest return of the night a 35 yard return in the first half.

Carson-Newman will next play on Thursday Sept. 27 against Wingate at Burke-Tarr Stadium at 8 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network, with coverage on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network beginning at 7 p.m. with the Farm Bureau Tailgate Show.

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