The University of the Cumberlands (UC) football team was back at home on Saturday, October 27th as they took on Mid-South Conference (MSC) foe Campbellsville University. Both teams came into the matchup playing their best football of the season, but it was the Patriots walking away with the impressive 62-19 victory on a day that many school records were broken or tied.
Cumberlands dominated from the opening kickoff holding the Tigers to a three and out on their first possession followed by a quick touchdown pass to give them the early 7-0 lead as Jay Bright (Fayetteville, GA) connected with Willie Gibson (Abbeville, GA) for 29 yards. After another defensive stop, the Patriots connected once again for a touchdown as Bright found D 'Angelo Jordan (Jacksonville, FL) for 33 yards to put Cumberlands up 14-0.
The Tigers answered back with a 75 yard touchdown pass cutting the lead to 14-6 as they tried to claw their way back into the game. Just as momentum seemed to swing, UC's special teams was able to block the extra point. On the next drive it was the Patriots Terrance Cobb (Knoxville, GA) getting into the action when he broke down the sidelines eluding tacklers on his way to a 74 yard touchdown to put UC ahead 20-6 heading into the second quarter.
In the second quarter Cumberlands wasted no time as Bright hit Gibson for another touchdown of 56 yards followed by a 5 yard touchdown run by Cobb to put the Patriots up 34-6. On the ensuing Campbellsville drive Kel McCarter (Sevierville, GA) came up on the blitz stripping the ball from the quarterback allowing Dewaun Harrison (Chickamauga, GA) to scoop it up for a 20 yard return to put Cumberlands up 41-6. Campbellsville would answer with two late touchdowns to cut the lead to 41-19.
Once again with the momentum switched to the opposite side, the Patriots left no doubt as Bright connected with Gibson for the third time on the day for a 27 yard touchdown to go up 48-19. Cumberlands defense would hold strong in the second half as they held Campbellsville scoreless.
At the start of the fourth quarter Cobb would add another touchdown run of 36 yards to give him his third straight game of rushing for over 250 yards. A late touchdown run by Philip Wells (LaFollette, TN) would give Cumberlands the 62-19 victory.
It was an emotional day for the Patriots as they held senior day festivities before the contest saying farewell to group that helped set the foundation of the program today. A class with a career record of 31-10 with 2 conference championships, they couldn't have gone out any other way. "This is a special group of guys and I am so proud of them and I feel blessed to be their coach," said Head Coach John Bland after the win.
During the game the Patriots would break or tie 8 school records. Cobb continued his amazing career as he finished the game with an astounding 327 yards on 27 attempts for 3 touchdowns breaking the single game rushing record and giving him 1,472 on the season, breaking the single season rushing record. His 21 touchdowns on the season is also a new single season record.
On the second pass of the game both Bright and Gibson became all-time leaders as they hooked up for the 29 yard touchdown pass. Gibson became the All-Time leader in receiving yards with 1,596 yards in his career and Bright became the all-time leader in passing yards with 3,123 yards. Gibson also broke his own record for most touchdown receptions in a single season as he currently has 9.
Adrian Hightower (Macon, GA) also continued his impressive season with another interception which tied him with Brandon Goss for first with 8 in a season.
Head Coach John Bland also tied legendary Patriots coach Tom Dowling for most wins in Cumberlands school history with 55 career victories.
For the game, Cumberlands was as balanced as they have been on offense all season racking up 617 total yards, 222 passing and 395 rushing, showing they are primed to make a deep run into the playoffs. Bright went 11 of 20 passing for 222 yards and 4 touchdowns. His main target Willie Gibson led the team in receiving with 6 catches for 116 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The UC defense only gave up 170 yards passing and 96 yards rushing for a total of 266 total yards. Junior Weston Hazelhurst (Clinton, TN) continued his great career by notching 7 total tackles and one sack. Sophomore Jared Stippert (Clearwater, FL) had his best game of the season as he had a blocked extra point and 7 tackles. The defense also forced 3 turnovers as they continue to be one of the best teams in the country when it comes to turnovers.
Next week the Patriots 8-1 (4-1 MSC) will be on the road for the final game of the regular season on Saturday, November 3rd against Kentucky Christian University at 1:30 pm in Grayson, Kentucky. Cumberlands will go into the game needing a big win to keep their postseason hopes alive and being able to host a first round game.
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 provided by Jordan Gossett, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia & Athletic Services Graduate Assistant