Lenoir-Rhyne University is playing in the NCAA Division II Super Region 2 football finals this weekend and Ronnie Clifton (Skyline ’15) has played a big role in the team’s success.
Clifton, a redshirt junior, is a starting offensive lineman for the Bears.
He has helped pave the way for the Bears’ 3,641 rushing yards this season. The Bears are averaging 280.1 yards per contest on the ground and have 40 rushing touchdowns.
Clifton has started every game this season on the offensive line at left tackle.
The Bears have had a balanced attack and have also thrown for 2,363 yards, 181.8 per game. Overall, the Bears are averaging 461.8 yards per contest and have scored 73 offensive touchdowns.
Clifton has earned several awards this season. On Nov. 12, he was named the South Atlantic Conference Elite 20 Award winner. The award honors the student-athlete with the top cumulative grade-point average (based on a minimum of 48 credit hours) in each of the league’s 20 team championship sports.
Clifton was also named to the First Team of the Google Cloud Academic All-District team on Nov. 15. The team is decided by the College Sports Information Directors of America and is divided up between Division I, Division II, Division III and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
He has a 3.88 GPA in Finance/Mangement.
The Bears beat Wingate, 21-17, in a playoff matchup last weekend at home in Hickory, North Carolina. They ran for 126 yards on 34 carries. They also had 178 yards passing.
The third-seeded Bears play at top-seeded Valdosta State University on Saturday in Valdosta, Georgia. The Bears are one of eight teams left in the postseason.
Lenoir-Rhyne (12-1) has won 12 straight games after suffering a loss to the University of West Alabama to start the season.
TOP HONORS: West Liberty University’s Josh Ojo (Sherando ’15) was named to the All-Mountain East Conference first team on Nov. 13.
Ojo led the MEC with seven interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns. The junior cornerback had back-to-back games with two interceptions at Charleston (Sept. 13) and vs. UVa.-Wise (Sept. 22).
Ojo had a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown to help West Liberty beat West Virginia Wesleyan, 37-34, on Sept. 6. His 25-yard interception return for a score gave West Liberty a 7-0 edge against Notre Dame College on Sept. 29. The Hilltoppers lost to Notre Dame College, 55-21.
He finished with 32 tackles, including 30 solo. He had two tackles for loss, nine pass break-ups, 16 pass deflections, and one forced fumble.
The Hilltoppers finished 3-8 on the season, including 3-7 in the MEC.