23OCT2021-Faulkner vs Reinhardt-6298b.jpg

Isaiah Blake with the carries the ball against Faulkner. Reinhardt clinched another MSC Appalachian Championship with Saturday's win over Kentucky Christian.

With a 49-15 win over Kentucky Christian on Saturday, Reinhardt claimed its sixth straight Mid-South Conference title. The Eagles finished 6-0 in conference play this season and finished the regular season on a seven-game win streak.

Reinhardt started the season 2-2 with losses to Kennesaw State and Bethel, but once conference play began, the Eagles turned a corner. This week, they capped an impressive run with a confidence-building win as the postseason approaches.

Neither team scored in the first quarter between Reinhardt and Kentucky Christian. The game’s first score came on a Reinhardt safety to open the second quarter. Kentucky Christian extended its lead to 9-0 later in the quarter, on a 44-yard touchdown run by Jordan Brown, taking that advantage into the halftime break.

Reinhardt’s defense stepped up in the third quarter when Keyovione Whitlock took a Kentucky Christian fumble 55 yards for his team’s first points of the game. The defensive score ignited the Eagles’ offense, which outscored the Knights 42-6 the rest of the way.

The Eagles scored six consecutive touchdowns following halftime, with four coming on the ground, one on defense and one through special teams. Reinhardt scored its final touchdown with four minutes remaining as Marcus Jefferson ran 14 yards for the score.

The most shocking number from Saturday’s game was the breakdown of total yardage for Reinhardt. Of the 247 yards the Eagles accumulated in the matchup, only 27 were through the air. They ran the ball for 220 yards and five touchdowns and had a relatively efficient attack.

Devyn Collins led Reinhardt with 12 carries for 49 yards and two touchdowns. Dylan Kelly had the next highest total, taking six carries for 39 yards. Austin Wood also made an impact, going for 39 yards and a touchdown on just two carries.

Reinhardt more than doubled Kentucky Christian’s rushing output and ran 50 run plays compared to the Knights’ 30. The Eagles avered 4.4 yards per carry overall, though its top three rushers held a 6.3 average.

The Eagles now turn their attention to the postseason. They advanced to the NAIA Football National Championship Series Quarterfinals last year and hope to break past that round this season. The NAIA playoff selection process will take place Sunday night.

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