Williamsburg, KY – The University of the Cumberlands Football team took command of their home turf on Thursday night early against the Warriors of Webber International and never looked back, pulling away for a 45-14 win to move to 2-0 on the year. Cumberlands also improved to 5-0 against teams from the state of Florida and 6-0 in home openers under Head Coach Matt Rhymer.
UC's defense was treacherous in the opening half of play, allowing the Warriors only 16 yards of total offense while forcing four three-and-outs in the opening 30 minutes of play. The Patriots however were cruising on offense, scoring twice both quarter of action in the first half. On their opening drive, it was Martize Smithpulling the load, tallying 41 of 47 yards on the ground including a 36 yard TD run to make it 6-0. The Devon McMillin extra point was good, making it 7-0 Pats. On the next drive, quarterback Josiah Robbins would take to the air for the first of his two passing touchdowns of the night, connecting to Carter Nelson from 30 yards out for the score. The McMillin PAT was good, giving UC a 14-0 lead after one.
Carrying over possession from the first quarter, Cumberlands would continue to press early in the second. After a balanced attack from both the ground and air, Marquez Trigg would find his way into the endzone on a one-yard carry to extend the lead. McMillin's point after was good, giving UC a 21-0 advantage. Robbins then capped off a short-field drive with a one yard keeper into pay dirt, pushing the lead to 28-0 at the halftime break.
After a 54-yard kickoff return from Darius Young to begin the half, UC's offense would stall to a 4th and five from Webber's 25 yard line. Electing to go for it, Robbins would find Weston Hayes on a crossing route as he would duck and dive his way into the end zone for his second passing touchdown of the night. The extra point was good, making it 35-0. Webber would find their way onto the scoreboard in the third as Brycen Lee would connect with Bryce Briggs-Pierre from six yards out to cut into the Patriots' lead. Lee's two-point conversion strike to Timothy Miller was also successful, making it 35-8 UC with eight to play in the quarter. The Patriots would respond with a 61-yard kickoff return from Tae Hammond to the Webber 14 yard line. There, Trigg would take control with three carries including a two-yard rush into the end zone for the score. Point after try was good, extending the lead back out to 42-8 entering the final 15 minutes of play.
UC's lone score of the quarter came on a possession carried over from the third as McMillin would connect on a 35 yard field goal, making it 45-8. The Warriors would add a score late as Lee would keep on a quarterback sneak for the score. The two-point try was no good, making it 45-14, and the eventual final score.
Robbins was solid through the air once again for UC going 14-22 for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Big stat of the night for Robbins was no interceptions and no turnovers, helping UC keep themselves on the right side of the turnover margin. He added six carries for 21 yards and a score. Martize Smith was the leading rusher of the game with 12 carries for 99 yards and a score. Marquez Trigg chipped in four carries for 15 yards and a pair of scores.
Cumberlands tallied 202 yards rushing and 194 passing for a combined 396 yards of offensive output. The Warriors did tally 308 yards of offense, but only 16 came on the ground. The Patriots also forced eight Warrior punts on the night and not allowing a third-down conversion in the contest (0-9 on the night).
Defensively, UC was led by Nate Hancock with seven total tackles. Jeremiah Baker, Adam Johnson, Jeremiah McKibben, and Tyler Pendleton all had four stops a piece in the game. Johnson added two tackles for loss and a forced fumble while Pendleton chipped in with sack and a tackle for loss. As a team, UC tallied six tackles for loss, four sacks, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.
The Patriots returns to James H. Taylor, II Stadium on Saturday, September 28th as they host the Union College Bulldogs for the annual Battle for the Brass Lantern contest. Cumberlands has won this contest regularly as of late, winning three of the last five and 10 of the last 13 matchups. Under Rhymer, the Pats are 3-2, winning back-to-back contests for the first time under Rhymer just last season with a 67-7 win last fall over the Bulldogs. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm.