MOUNT BERRY, Ga. – Two undefeated teams will take the field on Saturday, as the Berry College Vikings travel to Memphis, Tenn. to open Southern Athletic Association (SAA) play against the Lynx of Rhodes College. Schedule | Stats | Roster
The Vikings started with a 2-0 record for the first time in program history with wins over Maryville and a record-setting 52-37 win at LaGrange. Through the first two weeks of the season, Berry is averaging 43 points per game, 408 yards per game, 221 yards per game on the ground and leads the SAA with nine receiving touchdowns. Berry's defense currently leads the conference in takeaways, recording six interceptions and three fumble recoveries through two games, and is holding opposing rushers to just over 100 yards per game.
The Rhodes Lynx earned victories over Willamette (35-21) and Pomona-Pitzer (23-20) en route to three consecutive seasons starting 2-0. Rhodes averages 29 points per game, 402.5 yards per game, 143.5 yards on the ground, 259 receiving yards, and leads the conference in passing yards per attempt. The Lynx defense has allowed 20.5 points per game, 105.5 yards on the ground, and has notched six sacks.
The Matchup - Berry
The Vikings recorded the program's first shutout victory over the Lynx at home last year, holding Rhodes to just 187 yards of total offense. The current SAA receiving touchdown leader, Trey Ciresi, hauled in six catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns in the win. The defense also had a big game, taking the ball away on four occasions and posting five total sacks and 12 tackles for a loss. The Vikings secondary also posted seven pass breakups.
Berry's offensive lineup for Saturday includes the top two touchdown threats in the SAA in Chris Lilly and Ciresi. Quarterback Tate Adcock has utilized the receivers en route to 259 passing yards and six TD passes. Adcock will share reps with Slade Dale who is second on the team in rushing with 128 yards and has three touchdown passes of his own. Berry's offensive line including Trey Newton, Teddy Palmer, Avery Archer, Mike Wenclawiak and Jack Morgan have paved the way for running back Austin Lowe to post some big numbers including a 169 yard, two touchdown performance at LaGrange last week.
"It has kind of changed this year," head coach Tony Kunczewski said. "Last year, the defense usually had the upper-hand a lot of times but we're really able to put points on the board on offense now."
The Vikings defense, who led the SAA in nearly every defensive category a year ago, is led by senior linebacker Matt Farinella with 12 tackles and one tackle for a loss. Berry's stout defensive front is anchored by D3football.com All-Region nod, Mamadou Soumahoro who has 11 tackles, three sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery this year. Berry has defensive playmakers across the board, and will look for a big game to open conference play.
The Matchup – Rhodes
The Rhodes offense is led by sophomore quarterback P.J. Settles who has thrown for 518 yards, four touchdowns and three picks so far this year. Settles is also a rushing threat, carrying the ball 28 times for 192 yards and two scores. Settles will rely on his offensive line consisting of Joe Boltuc, David Sarkan, Nick Weng, Blake Jacobs and Andrew Murphy to prevent the likes of Soumahoro and Stewart from getting to the QB. Senior running back Tyler Douglas will get the start Saturday after rushing 11 times for 28 yards in the first two contests. The Lynx receiving corps is led by senior wideout Brandon Box who has six catches for 160 yards and two scores on the year.
The Rhodes secondary is the heart of the defense, with the top five tacklers coming from the defensive back position. Senior DB John Dodd leads the Lynx with 19 tackles followed closely by junior Charlie Hughes with 18 tackles. Sophomore linebacker Duke Sherrell has recorded eight tackles of his own and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Rhodes currently ranks fourth in the conference in points allowed per game (20.5)
Saturday, September 17th | 2:00 PM @ Memphis, Tenn.
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