The University of the Cumberlands (UC) football program is coming off a stellar 2012 campaign. Two weeks ago, their season came to an end as they lost to defending National Champion St. Xavier in the NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) Quarterfinals 35-21. The Patriots had a season to remember that was complete with contributions by some exceptional men. A plethora of Patriots had stellar seasons and have been recognized with high honors by the Beyond Sports Network (BSN).
Senior offensive guard Colby Hitchcock (Loganville, GA), junior running back Terrance Cobb (Knoxville, TN), junior defensive back Adrian Hightower (Macon, GA), and junior Weston Hazelhurst (Clinton, TN) were named members of the Beyond Sports Network (BSN) 1st team All-American Team. Junior punter Mitchell Mascaro (Knoxville, TN), junior defensive lineman Nick Smith (Knoxville, TN), and junior wide receiver Willie Gibson (Abbeville, GA) received Honorable Mention honors for their efforts.
Terrance was named the BSN Offensive Player of the Year as he led the team in rushing racking up 1,991 yards on 259 attempts for 26 touchdowns. Terrance was a force as he was the main contributor on a team that was top 3 in the NAIA in rushing. Much of Terrance's success can be contributed to the offensive line which was led by Colby Hitchcock. Colby played left guard for the Patriots and led the offensive line with 82 knockdowns this season. The Patriot defense was led all season long by two men. Adrian Hightower had the best season a Patriot defensive back has had in school history as he contributed with 26 tackles and a school record 10 interceptions. It seemed whenever a big play needed to be made, he was there to make them. Weston Hazelhurst also continued his success playing linebacker for the Patriots as he led the team with 102 tackles, 8.5 sacks, with 23.5 tackles for loss which was 2nd in the NAIA.
Wide receiver Willie Gibson had another great season as he caught 41 balls for 847 yards and 10 touchdowns. This season was a milestone in Gibson's career at UC as he now holds the records for most career receiving yards and most career touchdowns. Defensive lineman Nick Smith had a stellar first season in Williamsburg as he was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive front. Smith tallied 49 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and a school record 99 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Mitchell Mascaro had a great season punting the football for UC as he was a valuable weapon on special teams. Mitchell had 45 punts for 1,931 yards with a 42.9 yard average including a long punt of 65 yards on the season.
For more information on the Patriot football program as well as other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.