U of Cumberlands upsets #16 Campbellsville in season opener

The University of the Cumberlands (UC) football team took to the field at Ron Finley Stadium in Campbellsville, KY on Thursday night to open their 2015 season against the #16 ranked Tigers of Campbellsville University (CU).  After trading blows early, it was two critical turnovers forced by the Patriots that would launch them to the upset victory over the Tigers 27-24.  With the win, UC moves to 1-0 on the season.

The Tigers would strike first with a field goal by Will Ward on the opening drive to take an early 3-0 lead.  UC would respond on their first drive with a 37 yard field goal of their own by Joe Rose (Lawrenceburg, KY) to tie the game at 3-3 after 1 quarter of play.  In the 2nd quarter, CU struck on special teams as Jarrod Harrington would return a punt by Logan Mathes (Knoxville, TN) for 56 yards to the endzone for the touchdown.  Ward’s PAT was good, giving the Tigers a 10-3 lead.  After trading possessions, UC would find pay dirt once again on a 29 yard touchdown pass from Adam Craig (Jackson, TN) to Wendall Williams (Syracuse, NY).  Rose’s point after was good, tying the game back up at 10-10 heading into halftime.

 

The Tigers would find the endzone first in the 2nd half on an 11 yard TD pass from Jacob Russell to Tyus Alcorn and the Ward PAT to take a 17-10 lead.  UC would then put together a solid drive after a 57 yard kick return by Williams as Rose would punch his 2nd field goal through the uprights from 25 yards out to make it 17-13 CU.  Campbellsville would begin their next drive, but a big interception by Erico Smith (Fisherville, KY) would put UC in great field position.  Craig would then go for the home run ball on the 1st play of the drive where he connected again with Williams for 44 yards for the TD.  Rose’s PAT was good, giving the Patriots their first lead of the night at 20-17 heading to the 4th quarter.

 

Russell would lead the Tigers back down the field again early in the 4th finishing the drive with a 44 yard TD pass again to Alcorn to take a 24-20 lead for CU.  After exchanging drives once again, UC would make another break go their way as the Tigers would have a bad snap on their punt attempt, giving the Patriots short field position to work with.  On a 6 play, 25 yard drive, UC would punch it in with a 3 yard run by Craig to take a 27-24 lead.  Another crucial interception would plague the Tigers as freshman cornerback Max Bacon (Knoxville, TN) would pick off Russell for the 2nd time in the game.  UC would run off a chunk of time before CU would regain possession with 51 seconds left.  The Tigers would find a way to get the ball in field goal range with 1.1 seconds remaining, but an errant snap before the ball was called set by the head referee would result in a false start penalty while the field goal attempt was wide left as well.  CU had no time outs remaining, which would result in the time run off and the Patriots would come away with the victory 27-24.

 

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Adam Craig would show efficiency on the field going 6-9 through the air for 120 yards and 2 TDs.  He would also carry the ball 13 times for 62 yards and another TD.
  • Hunter Lewis (Dunlap, TN) was a workhorse in the backfield with 22 carries for 70 yards.
  • Wendell Williams would have a nice night with 204 total yards (87 receiving & 117 kick return yards) and 2 receiving TDs.
  • Zach Balusik (Greensburg, IN) and Matt Jewell (Corbin, KY) would each have 10 tackles on the night, leading the Patriot defense.
  • Even in the win, UC was outgained on the night in total yardage by the Tigers 449-290.

 

UP NEXT

UC now turns their attention to next Thursday night as they will travel to Jefferson City, TN to take on NCAA D-II opposition Carson-Newman College.  Kickoff on Sept. 3rd is set for 7 pm.

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