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A night game on the road against the reigning conference champions was already enticing enough. But as a warm Saturday afternoon turned to evening, Lenoir-Rhyne’s showdown at Wingate took on even more importance. 

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After a season-high seven ranked teams lost, the back half of the AP college football poll got a makeover. Five teams entered the Top 25 on Sunday, including No. 17 Kentucky for the first time since 2007. 

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Ryan Finley threw for 377 yards and a touchdown to lead North Carolina State to a 37-20 victory over Marshall on Saturday night.

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Quentin Harris passed for 202 yards and three touchdowns before leaving with an injury as Duke beat North Carolina Central 55-13 on Saturday.

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Antonio Williams ran for two scores while Nathan Elliott threw for two more to help North Carolina beat Pittsburgh 38-35 on Saturday in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.

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HICKORY – Lenoir-Rhyne hired Drew Cronic last December in the hope that he would bring his offensive acumen to Hickory and revitalize a Bears offense that spent most of last season on life support. Through three games this year, the former Furman offensive coordinator has already implemented a drastic turnaround.

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Redshirt sophomore receiver Greg Dortch of Wake Forest has vivid memories of last season’s loss at Notre Dame. It was one that saw cold and wet weather hit South Bend, Ind., saw Notre Dame pile up 710 yards of offense, 10 shy of a program record, and saw the Irish win 48-37, and it wasn’t really that close.

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Football is back, and hopefully it can serve as a brief distraction from the devastation of Hurricane Florence across the Carolinas. All four in-state ACC schools are back in action and each has plenty to gain with a victory this week.

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CULLOWHEE — Western Carolina and Alabama have agreed to a one-game contract for a meeting at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., slated for Nov. 23, 2019, the schools officially announced this week as the Crimson Tide unveiled its 2019 football schedule.

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BOSTON (AP) — Louisville is still looking for an heir to Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. Boston College and Syracuse had quarterbacks coming back from injuries. Wake Forest was only looking for someone to fill-in while starter Kendall Hinton was suspended and may have found itself a lon…

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HICKORY — Lenoir-Rhyne University will add five members to its Sports Hall of Fame as Meredith O’Connor, Scott Walker, Taylor Pugh, Benny Moose and Ben Sheffield make up the class of 2018.

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WACO, Texas (AP) — Quentin Harris threw for 174 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start for Duke, and the Blue Devils won 40-27 at Baylor on Saturday while their home state of North Carolina was being inundated with rain from Tropical Storm Florence.