MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill football team (1-1) downed visiting St. Augustine's (0-2) by a score of 46-14 in their 2019 home opener, held on Local Lion Day inside the Ammons Family Athletic Center and Meares Stadium.
Craig Rucker recorded a hat-trick of touchdowns, one on the receiving end, one rushing and one passing. Rucker had 62 yards receiving, 71 passing and 19 on the ground. Jimmy Urzua threw for 136 yards and four touchdowns on the day. Rolous Frazier led all players with 98 yards rushing while Gilbert Johnson led all receivers with 82 yards and two scores. Both Carl Robertgeau (five solo, two assisted) and Dexter Fitzpatrick (two solo, five assisted) led the Lions with seven tackles.
Tied at 14 with five minutes remaining in the first half, a 30-minute lightning delay put a halt to the action. Once the threat had passed, Mars Hill took their second and final lead of the game as Chris Cayo collected a pass from Urzua from 18 yards out and put Mars Hill up 21-14. With less than a minute left in the half, Rucker's one yard rush gave Mars Hill the 27-14 edge going into the half.
Including their final two scores of the first half, the Lions would tack on 19 points in the second half and score 32 unanswered points to claim the 46-14 win. The lone score in third was Johnson's second touchdown reception of the season, thrown by Rucker.
With 2:10 elapsed in the fourth quarter, Ty Snelson was on the receiving end of Urzua's fourth touchdown pass on the day, a three-yard reception to put the Lions up 40-14. Christopher Roberts 19-yard rush with 7:28 left in the contest was his first score of the season.
Johnson opened the scoring just 3:18 into the contest with an 11-yard reception. Just over three minutes later, following a successful onside kick, Rucker collected a 36-yard pass from Urzua to put the Lions up 14-0 with 8:41 remaining in the first quarter.
The Falcons of St. Augustine's battled back to tie the game at 14, starting with Joe Baker's nine-yard reception from Jalen Jones with 2:55 elapsed in the second frame. Jeremiah Miller's three-yard rush with 8:20 left in the half knotted the game at 14-all.
Mars Hill travels to the UVa-Wise on Saturday, September 21st to open up South Atlantic Conference play. Kickoff is slated for a 12 p.m. start.