Sun, Sep. 9, 2012 - [Football]
The University of the Cumberlands (UC) football team took to the road for the first time in 2012 on Saturday against #22 Cumberland University. The Bulldogs were coming off a huge win against Kansas Wesleyan last week while the Patriots were looking to revive their offense after a shaky win against Belhaven. The Patriots were also looking to improve their 9-7 record all-time against the Bulldogs.
The Patriots not only showed up to play on Saturday, but they dominated with a performance that many are used to seeing. The Patriots crushed the #22 Bulldogs by a score of 55-13 with UC scoring 48 unanswered points after falling behind 13-7 with just under 10 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. The win also extended an impressive number for Head Coach John Bland as he remains undefeated in week 2 games at Cumberland with a record of 7-0.
The main discussion of the week was if the Patriots offense would be back to form in week 2 compared to its performance in week 1. UC's offense took off early and never looked back looking sharp from beginning to end. The Patriots earned 544 yards of total offense, nearly double the 286 yards they accumulated last week. The Patriot defense also tightened up as well as they limited the Bulldogs offense to just 171 total yards. The special teams unit for UC also stepped up big with a punt block for a touchdown in the game.
Both teams started off the game with turnovers as Adrian Hightower (Macon, GA) had his 1st of 2 interceptions in the game before UC lost possession on a fumble. The Bulldogs would take the lead first on a Lemeco Miller 3 yard touchdown run, giving CU a 7-0 lead. The Patriots would answer quickly through
the air as Jay Bright (Fayetteville, GA) found Willie Gibson (Abbeville, GA) on a 38 yard touchdown pass to even the game at 7-7.
The Patriots would stall the next couple of drives as Cumberland U. would take the lead once again on a 2 yard run by Miller on 4th down. Jared Stippert (Clearwater, FL) would block the extra point to give CU a 13-7 lead with just under 10 minutes left to play in the first half. On the next drive, UC would find the end zone again as Terrance Cobb (Knoxville, TN) would score from 5 yards out to even the game at 13-13. An extra point by Justin Dyer (Woodburn, KY) would give the Patriots a 14-7 lead. This is where the eruption by UC would begin. After holding CU to three and out on the next drive, the punt was blocked by Brendan Kelly (Lexington, KY) which bounced directly into the hands of Willie Gibson who took it into the endzone from 20 yards out to make it a 21-12 lead. The Patriots would add two field goals by Dyer before the end of the first half to give them a 27-13 lead going into the break.
The rest of the game was all about the Patriots. The 3rd quarter started off with a 1 yard touchdown run by Jay Bright that capped off a 10 play 79 yard drive by the Patriots giving them a 34-13 lead. With 3:55 left in the third, Iquan Deed (Montezuma, GA) broke off a 50 yard touchdown run that would essentially put the nail in the coffin in favor of the Patriots. The Patriots running game was huge in part to junior D 'Angelo Jordan (Jacksonville, FL) who added a 46 yard touchdown run at the end of the 3rd quarter to extend UC's lead. Zeke Eier (New Carlisle, OH) would add the finishing touches on the game with a 3 yard touchdown in 4th quarter to end the game with a 55-13 victory.
Running back D ‘Angelo Jordan exploded for his best game as a Patriot as he racked up 169 yards on 12 attempts and 1 touchdown. Jay Bright also looked much better as he went 8 for 16 through the air for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. DeKeldrick Felton (Oglethorpe, GA) and Willie Gibson both led the team in receptions with 3 and both accumulated over 50 yards receiving. Gibson did add a receiving touchdown and the blocked punt return for a touchdown to his resume for the day.
The defense looked as good as they always have as Weston Hazelhurst (Clinton, TN) continued with another great game for his career as he led the team with 9 tackles. Adrian Hightower also came up big for the Patriots on the day as he added 2 interceptions for 27 yards. The "D" was also able to force the Bulldogs to put the ball on the ground 4 times.
Coach Bland was thrilled with the way his team played stating, "This was a great team win. We had big plays on offense, defense, and special teams. I am proud of our players for the way they played for 4 quarters."
Next week will be an emotional one for the Patriots as they travel to Barbourville, KY to take on Union College in the Battle for the Brass Lantern. That game is scheduled to kick off on Saturday, September, 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm in Barbourville, KY.
If you're unable to go to the game, the game will be broadcasted locally on WEZJ 104.3 FM. If you are out of the listening area, you can always catch Cumberlands football by logging onto www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
For more information on the Patriots football program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article by Jordan Gossett, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia and Athletic Services Graduate Assistant.