Pioneers unload on Lenoir-Rhyne for 58-22 victory

By Matt Hill

   TUSCULUM--The Tusculum College sports information department was kept busy on Saturday night thanks to a bunch of scoring and several records broken by the Pioneers.
   Tusculum scored eight touchdowns, with Matt Riggs and Carson Bradley asserting their names into the Pioneer record books in a 58-22 blowout victory over the Lenoir Rhyne Bears at Pioneer Field.
   During the win, wide receiver Matt Riggs set the single-game Tusculum record for touchdown receptions with four. The four touchdowns also gave him the Pioneer record for most touchdown receptions in a single-season with eight.
   Bradley threw five touchdown passes, which also set a new school record for touchdown passes in a single-game.
   The Pioneers racked up 500 yards of total offense against the Bears.
   Tusculum head coach Frankie DeBusk was extremely pleased with the offensive output, especially from Bradley and Riggs.
   "I'm glad to see him come in and do well in the backup role," DeBusk said about Bradley, who is filling in for the injured Tony Colston. "I don't know how many yards he threw for, but obviously he was productive enough for us to score a lot of points.
   "I think Matt Riggs is an exceptional wide receiver for us, and he made some big time plays. A lot of the credit has got to go to the offensive line on a lot of those screens for pulling out there and making the blocks. Matt made some catches tonight that only Matt Riggs I think is capable of making on our football team."
   Riggs' third touchdown of the first half really caught the eye of DeBusk, as it gave the Pioneers a commanding 34-16 advantage with just 12 seconds to go before halftime.
   "That touchdown catch right there before the half ended, I don't think anybody else on our team can go up and get it like he did," DeBusk said. "He's made plays like that for us all year. Tonight he just got into the end zone."
   Riggs was glad about the performance of the offense on Saturday night.
   "I feel great," Riggs said. "It was really fun playing tonight. Everybody was into it, everybody got to play. It was just really fun. Carson threw great balls all night, and put them on the money. And he made it easy for us."
   Bradley finished the evening 23-of-35 for 324 yards, but gave all the credit for the record he broke to his receivers.
   "I could really care less about the record," Bradley said. "Three or four of them were screen passes, it wasn't like I was doing anything difficult and stuff. A record is a record, and I will take it, but we scored 58 points today. That's the big thing. We got back on the winning track after losing two in a row, and that was tough. It was good to get back on the winning track.
   Bradley was pleased for Riggs and for his accomplishments.
   "He plays better and better each week," Bradley said. "We knew in the spring that Riggs was going to come out and do some special things this season."
   The Pioneers improve to 7-3 overall and 3-3 in the South Atlantic Conference with the win, and will travel to Mars Hill next Saturday.
   * Special Teams play was very productive for the Pioneers against the Bears. In addition to Marvin Kelly's 45-yard punt return for a touchdown, the Pioneers blocked a punt, blocked a kick, and ran a successful fake punt that put them in scoring position.
   * It was senior night at Pioneer Field, and one Elizabethton High School graduate was honored. Matt Whitman was recognized for his work as a student trainer.