The University of the Cumberlands (UC) football team came into their week 5 matchup looking to continue a season of dominance. The Patriots came into the game looking impressive winning each of their first 4 games by 21 points or more. However, UC would be facing their biggest challenge yet as they took on an undefeated Lindsey Wilson College (LWC) team looking for their biggest win in school history. Also with both teams coming in ranked in the top 15, tied for 1st in the MSC East, as well as UC celebrating the 125th Homecoming celebration, the Patriots and Blue Raiders both looked to make a statement.
The Patriots wasted no time picking up where they left off against Pikeville. After a quick three and out by the Patriots defense, the UC offense took to the field. The Patriots wasted no time finding the end zone as freshmen standout Adam Craig
(Jackson, TN) led the Patriots right down the field and capped off a 5 play drive with a 3 yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 Patriots. After another stop by the Patriots defense, UC struck once again as Terrance Cobb
(Knoxville, TN) showed just how special he is as he took the handoff 60 yards to the house for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead 5 minutes into the first quarter. The defense looked superb as they forced a three and out on each of Lindsey Wilson's first 5 drives holding them to negative yards. After an Al Merrick
(Pineville, KY) field goal midway through the first, Cumberlands went to the second quarter with the momentum on their side in a 17-0 lead.
It looked like it was going to be the same way in the 2nd quarter as Cumberlands capped off a 6 play, 61 yard drive with a highlight reel run by Iquan Deed
(Montezuma, GA). Cumberlands looked to be in complete control and it only got better as Seth Brewton
(Corryton, TN) intercepted a pass from Lindsey Wilson's Branden Cresap as a red hot Patriot offense looked to slam the door. Cumberlands offense thought they did just that as Adam Craig
connected with Hunter Lewis
(Dunlap, TN) to make it 31-0 with 12 minutes to go in the 2nd
quarter. As with most highly ranked teams though, LWC showed they would not back down as they finally found their groove and the end zone as they scored on a 26 yard touchdown pass to make it 31-7. The Blue Raiders defense was able to finally stop the Cumberlands offense and got the ball back with 7 minutes to go in the second quarter. LWC continued to be in sync as they scored again to make it 31-14 with still 4 minutes to go in the half. The Blue Raiders weren't finished as after another stop, Cresap tossed another touchdown pass to Matt Powers to make it 31-21 Cumberlands and the momentum was slowly swinging towards the LWC sidelines. Cumberlands made sure the momentum stayed on their side for the half as they capped off a 6 play, 66 yard touchdown drive in 1 minute with a Terrance Cobb
3 yard touchdown run to make it 38-21 Patriots at halftime.
Cumberlands has done a great job of pulling away from teams in the third quarter this season. After the first scoring drive, it looked like that trend would continue as with 4 minutes left in the third quarter, Iquan Deed
found the end zone once again, this time though the air on the halfback pass as he connected with Maleek Rooks
(Chattanooga, TN) to make it 45-27 UC. Lindsey would just not go away though as on their next possession, the Blue Raiders drove down the field and scored a touchdown on a 20 yard touchdown pass from Cresap to Elzy to make it 45-27 after the LWC 2-point conversion failed. After the third quarter it was 45-27 Patriots, which is when the fireworks started.
After LWC forced a three and out, Cresap connected to Chris Dobbins for a 70 yard touchdown to make it 45-35 Cumberlands with just under13 minutes left to play. It was Willie Gibson
(Abbeville, GA) that made his presence felt quickly as he took the kickoff after the touchdown 74 yards to the end zone, attempting to seal the game for UC with a 52-35 lead. The Blue Raiders once again would not go away as on the next possession, they took it 75 yards to the end zone to make it 52-42 UC with 10 minutes left to go in the game. Adam Craig
would through an interception, which worked out like a short punt, as it put the Blue Raiders at their own 38 yard line and the UC defense looked for a huge stop. Cumberlands would do just that as after LWC drove it all the way to the UC 20, they held Lindsey Wilson to a field goal to make it 52-45 with 4 minutes to go. Cumberlands got the ball back and after LWC used 2 of their timeouts early in the third quarter, UC just needed a couple of first downs to seal the victory for the Patriots. UC did just that as Iquan Deed
took a handoff that put the Patriots on their own 48 yard line to give UC the final 1st
down they needed. Craig would take 2 QB kneel downs to win on Homecoming and beat the 14th
ranked Lindsey Wilson Blue Raiders 52-45.
It was quite the game for the UC offense as they were almost unstoppable against the Blue Raiders defense as they ran for 308 yards on 53 carries. The center piece of the offense was none other than Terrance Cobb
who ran for 153 yards on 23 attempts with 2 touchdowns. It was a bit of a struggle for Craig today as he had trouble connecting with his receivers as he had 8 completions for 100 yards and 1 touchdown. Craig made some spectacular plays and continued to impress with his feet as he had 14 attempts for 76 yards and 1 touchdown.
As for the Patriot defense, after a substantial first quarter that saw the Blue Raiders end up with negative yards and three and outs, the very high powered LWC offense found holes in the Patriots defense and exploited them as they racked up over 500 yards of total offense. With a Coach Collins defense though, they will bounce back, and play superb in the next game.
Coach Bland was relieved with getting the victory, and is ready to take on Georgetown as he commented, "Lindsey Wilson is a good football team. They are ranked 14th in the country and have a great offense. I thought we did a lot of things good and was happy to come away with a victory. We had a few mistakes and have a bye week to clean them up."
The Patriots will have a bye week to rest and recover before hosting MSC rival Georgetown College on October 19th at James H. Taylor, II Stadium. This will also be Cumberlands' Breast Cancer Awareness game. Kickoff is set for 1:30 pm.
Article by Jordan Gossett, UC Multimedia & Athletic Services Graduate Assistant