The University of the Cumberlands (UC) football team came into their third game of the season looking to continue their quest for an undefeated season. The road wouldn't be easy for the Patriots as they had a couple obstacles to overcome. The biggest factors for UC, this was their first road game of the season and was the longest trip of the season.
The Patriots didn't waste any time finding the end zone after a quick 3 and out hold by the Patriot defense. D'Angelo Jordan (Jacksonville, FL) exploded for a 31 yard touchdown run to take a quick 7-0 lead. UC kept their foot on the gas as they gave the Blazers offense fits holding Belhaven's offense to 17 yards in the first quarter. Randy Maynard (Pikeville, KY) scored a touchdown to cap off a 7 play 48 yard touchdown drive to give UC a 14-0 lead.
In the second quarter, the Blazers finally found a rhythm as their quick no-huddle offense fatigued the Patriot defense. The drive was capped off with a Darrell Williams 3 yard touchdown run that ended a 16 play, 67 yard touchdown drive for Belhaven. After a would be touchdown got negated by a holding penalty that would have made it 21-7 UC, the Blazers tried to score on their final drive of the half, but was stopped by the UC defense. The Patriots would run the clock out to end the half with a 14-7 lead.
As has been the case with the Patriots all season long, it was the third quarter when the Patriots took control. Adam Craig (Jackson, TN) had one of the best drives in his young Cumberlands career as he capped off an 8 play, 79 yard drive with a 17 yard touchdown run. After the Patriot defense had a couple of stops on the Blazers, the Patriot offense exploded again. This time, it was a huge play by Iquan Deed (Montezuma, GA) who returned for his first game of the season as he connected with freshmen Jerry Neylon (Jackson, TN) for a 62 yard touchdown on the half back pass. The Patriots defensive mantra through the years has always been bend-not-break. They did just that on the next series as they held the Belhaven offense to a field goal after an 11 play, 69 yard drive. The Patriots went to the 4th quarter with the lead 28-10.
Adam Craig continued his success in the 4th quarter as he scored on a 5 yard touchdown run to give UC the 35-10 lead. The Blazers though wouldn't back down as they answered quickly with a touchdown drive. The UC special teams came up with another huge play on the assuming kickoff; Belhaven went for the onside kick but it was recovered by Weston Hazelhurst (Clinton, TN) who took it 43 yards to the end zone for a touchdown and the final score of 41-17.
The Patriots offense was led by Adam Craig who had his best game yet as a Patriot yet as he threw for 121 yards on 10 attempts with 7 completions. Craig also did a lot of damage on the ground as he ran for 54 yards on 8 attempts and 2 touchdowns. D'Angelo Jordan had his second consecutive game leading the Patriot offense in rushing as he ran for 121 yards on 15 carries with 1 touchdown. The Patriots as a whole continued their dominance on offense as they racked up 546 total yards with 363 coming on the ground.
As for the Patriot defense, they continued with another dominating performance. The Patriots held the Blazers to 266 yards of total offense. Weston Hazelhurst led the team in tackles with 10. Faquan Calhoun (Lebanon, KY) had a big game for the Patriots as he had 8 total tackles with several coming in big situations. Nick Smith (Knoxville, TN) and Carson Newman (Jefferson, GA) played well for the Patriots up front as they were in on the only sack for the Patriots.
Coach Bland was very pleased with his team's performance has he commented, "Anytime you can come on the road and get a win, it is big. I was proud of a lot of the guys and thought that was our best team effort so far this season."
Up next for UC will be a much needed bye week. The next bit of action for the Patriots will be on a rare Thursday night game as they will travel to the University of the Pikeville to take on the Bears at 7:00 pm on September 26th. If you are not in the area you can always listen to the Patriots on the website at www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
For more information on the Patriot football program as well as other Patriots athletics, please visit our website at www.cumberlandspatriots.com.