Sat, Nov. 12, 2011 - [Football]
The University of the Cumberlands (UC) football Patriots went into today's game with a large chip on their shoulder as they looked to make the Mid-South Conference (MSC) West Division championship interesting throughout the conference. The Patriots did just that as they knocked off #20 Cumberland University Bulldogs 31-27 in UC's final regular season game.
The Patriots struck first by capping a 9 play, 89 yard drive with a 2 yard touchdown run by Justin Pritchett (Dayton, TN). The extra point by Justin Dyer (Woodburn, KY) was good giving the Patriots an early 7-0 lead. The Patriots would then hold Cumberland University to a three and out, and come back once again to capitalize on a defense that was playing soft on the front line. The Patriots, this time, finished an 8 play, 80 yard drive with an 8 yard run by Terrance Cobb (Knoxville, TN) to extend the lead for UC. The PAT by Dyer was good, making it a 14-0 lead going into the 2ndquarter.
The Bulldogs would cut the lead in half though with 5:03 left in the 1sthalf on a one yard run capping a short 4 play 16 yard drive making it 14-7, but UC would answer quickly back. The Patriots would extend the lead back to two scores when Andrew Brunnert (McDonough, GA) would take one in from one yard out for a Patriot touchdown. The extra point by Dyer was good and the Patriots would take a 14 point lead once again at 21-7. With just 25 seconds left in the half, CU would strike again on a 4 yard run to cut the lead to just 21-14 at the half.
The Patriots would find the end zone first in the 2ndhalf as Terrance Cobb would once again hit pay dirt from 5 yards out to increase the Patriot lead. The PAT by Dyer was good giving UC a 28-14 lead. The Bulldogs would then rally back to score two more times, but on their final touchdown, the extra point was shanked wide to keep the Patriot lead at 28-27. A 32 yard field goal by Justin Dyer was added on with 6:18 remaining to give UC a 31-27 lead, and the Patriot defense did the rest holding CU to minimal yardage on the offensive side of the ball in the 4thquarter. The Patriot rushing attack also was key in managing the clock and giving UC a 31-27 win.
Sophomore Terrance Cobb led the Patriots with 20 carries for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns. Senior Justin Pritchett added 116 yards on just 6 carries and a touchdown. Senior Jordan Allen (Knoxville, TN) rushed the ball 13 times and chipped in 91 yards. Through the air, freshman Andrew Brunnert went 10 of 21 for 105 yards. Sophomore Willie Gibson (Abbeville, GA) hauled in 5 catches for 38 yards while Allen caught 3 passes for 39 yards.
Defensively, the Patriots were led by senior Jonathan Yeary (Williamsburg, KY) who had 13 total tackles and a pass breakup. Sophomore Weston Hazelhurst (Clinton, TN) also chipped in 11 total tackles including 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. Junior Brendan Kelly (Lexington, KY) was a key in the Patriot defense today as he tallied 2 tackles but also had a pass breakup and 2 interceptions.
The Patriots finished their season at 7-3 overall with a 4-2 MSC West Division record, good enough for a 2ndplace finish, just short of a 5thstraight MSC Divisional Championship. UC along with Coach John Bland and his staff will now look to the offseason and preparing for their move back to the MSC East Division in 2012 and working towards another MSC Divisional Championship.
For more information on the Patriot football team as well as other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article by Bo Kidd, UC Multimedia and Athletic Services Sports Photography and Statistics Coordinator.