After Installing the Triple Option, Football Returns to Prominence
It was a season for the ages for Lenoir-Rhyne Football. The Bears, despite being picked to finish sixth in the SAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, went a perfect 7-0 in league play and captured the eighth SAC Championship in program history. Lenoir-Rhyne hosted two rounds of the NCAA Playoffs, earning wins over Florida Tech and Wingate. Against the Bulldogs, the play of the year occurred as LR trailed by three with 45 seconds remaining. Head Coach Drew Cronic dialed up a double reverse flea flicker that saw Grayson Willingham hit Riley McGee who made a juggling catch to send the Bears on to the Regional Final. (VIDEO) LR completed the biggest turnaround in all of Division II, going from a 3-win team in 2017 to a 12-win program in 2018. For the turnaround, Cronic earned Regional and National Coach of the Year honors. The Bears were a perfect 7-0 at home and outscored opponents 521-228 in their 12 game winning streak. LR finished the season ranked No. 8 in the nation, a far cry from the sixth place finish in the conference that the coaches projected prior to the year.