PIKEVILLE – Leading by eight when the final period began, No. 21 Cumberland University outscored the University of Pikeville 17-7 in the fourth to cruise to a 41-23 win on Saturday afternoon.
The loss squared Pikeville at 3-3 on the and gave the Bears consecutive losses for the first time this season, spoiling the school’s annual Homecoming celebration. The Bears are now 1-2 on the season against teams ranked in the NAIA Top 25.
Cumberland improved to 4-1.
Cumberland got on the scoreboard first and looked as if it would control the contest. Sophomore Blake DeBoard ended a seven-play, 58-yard drive with a 10-yard carry with 4:57 to play in the opening period. Junior Jared White’s extra-point made it 7-0.
Pikeville tied the game with a 13-play, 96-yard drive that wrapped up with a 31-yard touchdown run by junior Hunter Adams. Sophomore Grayson Quick’s PAT tied it at 7-7 with 12:07 left in the half.
From there the kickers took over the game. Quick nailed field goals from 41 and 34 yards while White’s was good from 36 yards. Quick’s second kick came with 1:17 to play and had Pikeville on top 13-10.
But Cumberland got the ball at its own 35 and went 6 yards in less than a minute, getting a 47-yard pass from sophomore Reed Gurchiek to senior B.J. Stewart, sending the Bulldogs to the break on top 17-13.
Cumnberland opened scoring in the second half when Gurchiek found senior Lemeco Miller for an 82 yard score to make it 24-13. Before the period ended, Quick hit his third field goal of the contest, this time from 34 yards out, with 36 seconds left to make it 24-16.
But the Bulldogs dominated the final period. White’s 22-yard field goal opened scoring with 11:34 remaining, followed by a three-yard run by Miller that ended a 34-yard drive, set up by a fumbled punt, to push the score to 34-16 with 8:04 to play.
Pikeville quickly responded when junior Jordan Amis took the ensuing kick 95 yards for a touchdown. The all-time leader in receiving touchdowns with 18, it was the 20th score in the career of Amis, tying Calvin Joplin for second in career touchdowns in school history.
Cumberland closed scoring with a 10-yard run by senior Thomas Goodloe with 2:39 to play.
Pikeville ran 30 times for only 81 yards, with Adams leading the way with 40 yards. Senior Trevor Hoskins was 25-of-39 for 194 yards. It was the first time this season and the third time in his three-year career as a starter he hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass.
Shawntay Zachary and Shawntez Johnson had five catches each. Zachary had 41 yards while Johnson 44. Amis led the receiving corps with 44 yards on four catches.
Cumberland ran for 246 yards on 38 carries, with Miller pacing everyone with 116 yards on 15 carries.
Gurchiek was a crisp 17-of-21 for 245 yards and two scores. Miller had 92 yards on two catches.
Junior Demitri Travis and sophomore John Dudley Hilton led all tacklers with eight. Travis had five solos and a forced fumble while Hilton had six solos. Cumberland got seven tackles each from junior Josh Walker and senior Conner McChurch.
Pikeville will travel to west Tennessee to play Bethel at 2:30 p.m., Eastern Time, Saturday, Oct. 6.