(WJHL) – All three area South Atlantic Conference squads took to the gridiron on Saturday looking to climb the standings.

The Pioneers and Cavaliers got off to a slow start in Greeneville, but the home squad picked up the pace in the middle quarters for a 35-7 homecoming win.

Tusculum out-gained UVA Wise 419-181 on the afternoon, as TU quarterback Matthew Palazzo completed just 14 passes for 314 yards. He also notched three touchdowns and a pair of picks.

Five Pioneer receivers had a catch of at least ten yards, including Tyler Burke, who paced the team with five catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

The Tusculum defense was swarming again, compiling three sacks and a whopping 13 tackles for loss in the victory. Killian Raynell led the squad with seven total tackles.

Seth Fischbach snagged six balls for 83 yards and a score for the Highland Cavs, but no one else had more than ten yards receiving for the visitors.

Quarterback Jake Corkren connected on 14-of-27 pass attempts for 113 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in the loss.

Tusculum improves to 4-1 in the conference, while UVA Wise is still searching for its first SAC victory.

In Emory, the Wasps hung tough with Mars Hill on Saturday afternoon, but came up short in a 24-14 decision.

J’Quan Anderson carried the load for Emory & Henry, rushing the ball 19 times for 88 yards and a score. The Lions, however, sacked Cole Lambert five times in a strong defensive performance.

Emory & Henry (3-4, 1-4 SAC) hosts Tusculum next Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff.