Late Heroics Send Lenoir-Rhyne Past Wingate and on to the Regional Final

Late Heroics Send Lenoir-Rhyne Past Wingate and on to the Regional Final

HICKORY, N.C. – A last-minute trick play was executed to perfection as the Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team snuck past Wingate by a final score of 21-17 in the NCAA Super Region 2 Semifinal on Saturday afternoon. Head Coach Drew Cronic called for double reverse flea flicker where QB Grayson Willingham hit WR Riley McGee who completed an acrobatic juggling catch to send the Bears on to victory. 

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Lenoir-Rhyne 21, Wingate 17
Records: Lenoir-Rhyne (12-1), Wingate (9-4)
Location: Hickory, N.C. | Moretz Stadium
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STATS OF THE GAME:
•   McGee picked a tremendous time to catch his first touchdown pass in a Bears jersey, completing the trick play with 45 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Bears had trailed 17-14 prior to that catch. 
•   A crucial play on the final drive came from senior WR T.J. Smith who converted a 4th-and-5 with a clutch nine-yard grab in traffic to keep the Bears alive. In total, the Bears were 3-for-3 on fourth downs, all in the second half. 
 •  The Wingate defense held LR to its lowest scoring output of the season by a wide margin. The Bears had scored more than 30 points in every game this season and averaged 44 per contest before the Bulldogs shut them out in the first half. Two of the three lowest rushing outputs from LR this season came in the games they played Wingate. 
•   Willingham went 16-for-31 for 178 yards but did throw a pair of interceptions. Smith finished with six catches for 80 yards. 
•   Sherrod Williams totaled a team-high eight tackles and a pair of sacks. Williams had 2.5 tackles for loss, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. 
 
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
•    The Bears advance to their second Regional Final in program history. In 2013, the Bears advance to the NCAA Championship game. 
•    Wingate's Joe Kelly finished with a game-high 13 tackles and Davion Washington had a pair of interceptions. 
•    Dating back to the earlier season matchup, the Wingate defense held the Bears scoreless for over 71 minutes before LR erupted for 21 points in the final 16:29 of the game today. 

UP NEXT:
LR takes on Valdosta St. in the NCAA Division II Super Region 2 final on Saturday. The game will take place at Valdosta St. with game time to be determined.