Jefferson City, TENN. (WATE) - Brandon Baker and De'Andre Thomas combined for five touchdowns as Carson-Newman rolled over Newberry 37-27 in round one of the NCAA Div II playoffs on Saturday at Burke-Tarr Stadium.
Thomas single-handedly led the Eagles to a 21-0 lead on two short touchdown runs and a 35-yard touchdown pass to TraShaun Ward.
Newberry closed the gap to 21-14 on a Corey Washington 82-yard kickoff return and a 60-yard touchdown pass from WT Murden to Washington.
Carson-Newman led 24-14 at the half.
The Eagles built a 37-20 lead on touchdowns by Baker and Thomas, but Newberry closed the gap to 37-27 on another 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Washington.
Baker finished with 127 yards rushing and one touchdown.
Thomas rushed for 85 yards and three touchdowns and passed for one.
The win moves Carson-Newman into the second round of the NCAA playoffs. The Eagles will travel to Hickory, NC next week for a showdown with Lenoir-Rhyne.