Reinhardt Eagles (6-0) 55 – Faulkner Eagles (3-2) 27
Written by: Taylor Pineda and DeVante Wynn
After trailing 21-3 early, Reinhardt scored 52 unanswered points as the Eagles won by the largest margin in the brief history of this rivalry.
When Reinhardt Had the Ball
The Eagles’ season rushing yards per game average was previously 374.2. In this contest, however, Reinhardt was only able to run the ball for 299 yards. Niagel Curtis, Sam Jones, and Deonte Dennis were all able to hit pay dirt while carrying the pigskin. On the other hand, passing the ball became a significant factor in their big win. Ryan Thompson, the current Mid-South Conference and National Offensive Player of the Week, threw for 347 yards and two touchdowns. Nate Holton and Austin Beauchamp holstered the scoring receptions from Thompson’s strikes. The Eagles have done a tremendous job not only accumulating points, but yards as well. On the day, Reinhardt compiled 646 yards of total offense. Those final numbers are a new school record.
Faulkner’s defense was unable to keep up with Reinhardt’s offense, and could not get off the field in key situations. Reinhardt was able to convert on multiple third and fourth down opportunities. Being that the defense had to stay on the field, the players were fatiguing rapidly. In response, Reinhardt kept pounding the ball right at Faulkner. Reinhardt’s offense is up-tempo and because of it, Faulkner tired significantly as the game went along. Dennis Thames led the team in tackles with 10. Caleb Taylor and Ray Smith trailed with 9. Qunn Johnson had 7 tackles and a quarterback sack.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Scott, Reinhardt Football
When Faulkner Had the Ball
Despite running back Joe Jones having a career day, he was not able to carry the Faulkner offense to a victory. After going 93 yards on Faulkner’s first drive of the second quarter, Jones had 206 yards with over 40 minutes left to play. Jones finished the game with 224 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries, but was held to just 7 yards after halftime. Quarterback Clayton Nicholas was held under 200 yards passing for the first time this season. Nicholas finished 21/36 with 195 yards and one insignificant touchdown in the final five minutes of the game. Although Faulkner’s offense was rather unproductive in the second half, the Eagles finished with 465 total yards.
Reinhardt’s defense was dismantled early in the game by Faulkner’s running game, but was able to get things turned around in a hurry. Although Reinhardt did not force any turnovers, they were able to consistently get off the field on third and fourth down. Sophomore Marcus Miller led the Eagles with 8 tackles and returned a blocked punt 45 yards for the final touchdown of the day. Javier Dyer, Tyler Martin, Key Hicks, and Matthew Prather were all able to get to the quarterback to record four sacks on the day.
Keys to the Game
Reinhardt was able to not only run, but pass the ball effectively against the Eagles of Faulkner. Although the RU Eagles did not start the game as planned, they got things rolling soon after. From the second quarter onward, Reinhardt took the lead and would not look back.
Faulkner was able to run the ball successfully in the first half. Jones led the pack with over 200 yards. After halftime, however, Faulkner was unable to continue that success. Jones was held to a mere 7 yards for the rest of the game. Reinhardt’s defense settled down and was able to control the game for the remainder of the contest.
The Reinhardt Sport Studies crew has a prediction record of 6-0 this season.
Next Saturday, Reinhardt will travel to Lebanon, Tennessee to face Cumberland University (3-3). Cumberland is coming off a 54-21 victory over Kentucky Christian.
August 29th @ Point University W 73-21
September 12th vs Kentucky Christian W 52-3
September 19th @ Georgetown College W 36-25
September 26th vs University of Pikeville W 32-28
October 3rd @ Bluefield College W 80-14
October 10th vs #10 Faulkner University W 55-27
October 17th @ Cumberland University 1 PM EST
October 24th vs #1 Lindsey Wilson 12 noon EST
November 7th @ Campbellsville University 12 noon EST
November 14th vs Bethel University 12 noon EST