Reinhardt will return home Saturday following a four-game road swing and coming off its biggest win of the season.
Reinhardt (4-2, 1-0) beat Kentucky Christian 71-20 last week in its Mid-South Conference opener, and the Eagles will try to follow up on the fourth-highest point total in program history as they host Bluefield on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Bluefield (1-4, 1-0) beat Union 57-14 last week to win its Mid-South opener. The Rams led 35-0 in the second quarter and 41-7 at halftime and should feel confident following a game where they scored their most points of the season, while allowing the fewest.
Bluefield quarterback Aidan Wilder has been the focal point of the Rams’ offense, averaging 236 passing yards per game. His favorite targets have been Jaquan Ebron (21 receptions, 385 yards) and Lowell Patron Jr. (18 receptions, 303 yards).
While the Rams have been effective through the air, they have also averaged 115 rushing yards per game, with a season-high 178 last week.
Travis White leads Bluefield with 179 yards on 36 carries, while Wilder leads the team in carries (70) and rushing touchdowns (five).
The Reinhardt defense is allowing 14.8 points per game, good for 14th-best in the NAIA, and is fourth in sacks with 18.
Despite missing multiple starters in several games, the Eagles’ defense has played well as a unit and seen the emergence of several first-year playmakers. Sebastian LeGarra leads the team in tackles with 35, while Brandon Ballard leads the team with three sacks. Sidney Hamm and Kellen Neal each are tied for the team lead in interceptions with two.
Last week, Reinhardt contained a Kentucky Christian offense that had been posting big numbers all season, recording three interceptions and five sacks in the process. The Eagles’ secondary will likely have more opportunities Saturday against Wilder, who is third in the Mid-South in passing.
Before last week, Bluefield’s defense was surrendering 41.5 points per game, while it is allowing their opponents an average of 378 yards per game. That should bode well for Reinhardt, which tallied nearly 500 yards of offense last week.
Bluefield has allowed only 119 rushing yards per game, and the matchup between the Reinhardt running game and Bluefield run defense should tell the tale Saturday night.
The Eagles have the No. 4-ranked rushing attack in the NAIA, averaging 243 rushing yards per game.
Reinhardt quarterback Billy Hall has played well this season and leads the team in rushing (363 yards), passing (566 yards) and touchdowns scored (six). Montralius Mosely and Trevae Cain have emerged as the leading tandem out of the backfield, but M’Calun Lanier, Bryce Burgess and Otis Odom all figure to earn touches as well.
Freshman wide receiver Navarie Solomon caught three passes for 93 yards with a touchdown last week, and the emergence of a playmaker on the outside could help the Reinhardt offense continue to build on last week’s big win.