Dugger helps team advance in playoffs

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Lenoir-Rhyne junior Kyle Dugger, a graduate of Whitewater High, was named first team All-South Atlantic Conference as both a defensive back and return specialist, setting a school record this season by returning two punts for touchdowns in the same game.

Dugger now owns the record for most punt return yards in a season with 507 and his average return of 16.9 yards ranks him fourth in all of Division II and his two touchdowns rank third. He was named D2football.com National Special Teams Player of the Week.

The Bears defeated Florida Tech and Wingate in the first two rounds of the 2018 NCAA Division II playoffs, setting up a Dec. 1 showdown with Valdosta State. LR went undefeated in the South Atlantic Conference and won the regular season championship for the first time since 2014. The Florida Tech win was the 500th in the program’s history.

Thanks in part to Dugger’s play, LR’s defense ranked second in the nation in takeaways with 38 through the Florida Tech game, including six in that victory. They were tied for the national lead with 17 fumble recoveries and placed fifth in the nation in sacks.