2022 Mars Hill vs Barton

SAC Games Of The Week: Big Conference Games Headline Week 4

SAC Games Of The Week: Big Conference Games Headline Week 4

Two overtime contests in Week 3 suggests a wild and competitive South Atlantic Conference season is in store. Week 4 should provide more drama.

Sep 23, 2022 by Kyle Kensing
SAC Games Of The Week: Big Conference Games Headline Week 4

The tone's been set for the South Atlantic Conference race, and early indicators point to a raucous few months still to come. 

The first Saturday of SAC competition delivered, and then some, with two of the Week 3 matchups going to overtime: Limestone outlasted Carson-Newman in a 40-37 shootout, while reigning league champion Newberry needed two extra frames to survive a 26-23 test at Emory & Henry. 

After those nail-biting finishes, Week 4 brings plenty of potential encores in what should be a thrilling conference campaign. 

Mars Hill at Barton 


Barton proved there's plenty more to its option offense than standout running back Jordan Terrell in the Bulldogs' Week 3 win over UVA Wise. While the Cavs sold out on slowing the dynamic Terrell, who managed just 44 on 24 carries (but still reached the end zone), Barton quarterback Jaquan Lynch went off for 146 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just 13 carries in the Bulldogs' 40-20 win. 

Adding a third score via the pass helped Lynch earn SAC Offensive Player of the Week. 

Barton's multifaceted offense draws arguably the most talented defense in the SAC this week, with Mars Hill coming in off a 38-7 romp over Catawba. The Lions recharged after a bye week and trying Week 1 date against nationally ranked FCS opponent East Tennessee State and held Catawba scoreless for the game's first 57 minutes. 

Preseason 1st Team All-SAC linebacker Landon Honeycutt was in on a sack, made eight tackles and delivered a quarterback pressure, while Jaidyn Hicks and Jake Watson each had 1.5 sacks. Mars Hill aims to get into the backfield to cut off the Barton option before reads can develop — but the Lions have to be aware of the pass. 

Last year in a 40-32 Mars Hill win, Lynch went 22-of-38 passing for 316 yards as Barton unlocked shook up its approach. The Bulldogs quarterback attempted 180 passes in Barton's 10 other games combined, and has thrown 55 passes in the first three games this season. 

Emory & Henry at Wingate 


Picked to finish near the cellar of the SAC, Emory & Henry demonstrated that polls aren't predictive of results in Week 3 when the Wasps gave Newberry all it could handle. Though the loss dropped Emory & Henry to 1-2, the Wasps defeats have each been by one possession. 

Undefeated Wingate, meanwhile, has cruised in all three of its wins. The Bulldogs have yet to allow a opponent more than 10 points and surrendered just 20 total after last week's 27-10 defeat of Tusculum. 

Highlights: Wingate Vs. Tusclum

Wingate's grounding of what had been an explosive Tusculum offense through the first two weeks was perhaps the defense's most impressive performance yet. The Bulldogs have thrived getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks behind SAC-leading sack producers D.J. Horne (five sacks) and Marquise Fleming (four). 

Saturday marks a major test for the Emory & Henry offensive line in its efforts to protect quarterback Kyle Short, who had an impressive performance against Newberry. Short threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns with an interception in the loss. 

UVA Wise at Limestone

Limestone's potent offense is one of the surprises through the first three weeks of the 2022 season, and the Saints aim to build on their 44.7 point per game average in this week's Homecoming Game. 

Limestone went for 40 points in its overtime win over Carson-Newman, one week after dumping 73 on Saint Augustine's. The Saints opened the season posting 21 against FCS opponent Gardner-Webb. Tre Stewart and John Seter give Limestone a nice run-pass balance, with Stewart averaging a whopping 7.4 yards per carry for 379 thus far on the season, and Seter posting 573 yards and seven scores through the air. 

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After a winless 2021, Limestone finds itself in position to match its last two, complete fall seasons' win total with a victory on Saturday. UVA Wise, meanwhile, aims to bounce back after dropping its last two. 

The Cavs played Barton even through 30 minutes, but a 16-0 third-quarter deluge stymied UVA Wise's bid for an SAC-opening win. Despite the loss, Jaevon Gillespie's outstanding rushing is reason for optimism: Gillespie gained nine yards per carry and came just short of 100 for the contest.