After a crushing 47-23 loss at Carson-Newman two weeks ago, the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne University had a lot of time to ponder the defeat after a bye week.
With North Greenville standing in the way their way, the Bears put the tough loss to the Eagles behind them by tallying 551 yards of total offense in a 52-10 win in Hickory on Saturday.
L-R improves to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in South Atlantic League play.
The Crusaders (0-4) got off to a great start, taking their opening possession 53 yards and converting on a 23-yard field goal by Justin Gravely.
However, the Bears exploded for 14 first quarter points, including a one-yard touchdown run by L-R quarterback Rueben Haynes and a 47-yard pass from Haynes to receiver Artis Gilmore.
Austin Beaty and Greg Baker added two more rushing touchdowns in the second quarter from one and 35 yards, respectively, giving L-R a 28-3 lead by halftime.
Haynes said the Bears fed off of adversity from the loss to Carson-Newman two weeks ago.
"There were a lot of frustrations coming in to tonight," he said. "I felt good as our quarterback and for our team moving forward."
Scoring three times in the third quarter, the Bears extended their lead to 42 points.
The longest play of the quarter came when former Bandys standout Justin McCombs caught a 51-yard pass from the arm of Haynes.
Beaty added his second one-yard touchdown run, while kicker Zach Neumann connected from 20 yards out to make it a 45-3 L-R lead.
Chris Robinson's 60-yard run with 13:55 left in the game would be the final score for the Bears.
North Greenville's lone touchdown, which was the final score of the game, came a little more than three minutes later when quarterback Nelson Hughes found wideout Troy Jones from 15 yards out.
Haynes led the Bears with 138 yards through the air. The Bears outgained the Crusaders 551-317.
Lenoir-Rhyne is on the road in SAC play next Saturday when they hit the road to take on Brevard at 1 p.m.
Lenoir-Rhyne's 52 points scored marks the fifth time in three years the Bears have scored 50-plus points. L-R achieved the feat three-straight weeks from Oct. 22 through Nov. 5 last season, including 51 at Mars Hill, 52 versus Wingate and 54 against Newberry. In 2010, the Bears scored 59 points in a season-opening win over Chowan, and they also scored 52 versus Carson-Newman in November 2010.
The Bears snap a two-game losing streak to North Greenville. Both of those losses were decided by eight points or less, including a 35-27 loss last year and a 20-19 loss in 2010.
The attendance for Saturday's game was 6,196
L-R's 1962 National Championship baseball team was honored at the halftime