August 25, 20181st2nd3rd4thFinal
Cumberland Univ.770014
Bluefield College01010626
1st Quarter
CUTD02:25Huntley 1 Yd Run (Spence kick)
2nd Quarter
BLUEFG14:49Griffith 47 Yd
CUTD09:05Rucker 5 Yd Run (Spence kick)
BLUETD00:30Whitt 4 Yd Run (Griffith kick)
3rd Quarter
BLUEFG04:19Griffith 34 Yd
BLUETD01:52Hughes 60 Yd Pass From Whitt (Griffith kick)
4th Quarter
Stats at a GlanceCUBLUE
1st Downs1814
3rd Down Conversions5-176-17
4th Down Conversions1-60-0
Passing (Comp-Att)199 (17-34) 202 (13-28)
Rushing (Att)61 (45) 83 (35)
Total Yards260285
Fumbles Lost10
Miscues, penalties result in opening 26-14 loss for CU
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Miscues, penalties result in opening 26-14 loss for CU
Telvin Rucker rushed 10 times for 36 yards with a five-yard TD run in Saturday's 26-14 loss at Bluefield. (Credit Steve Wampler)

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Dezmon Huntley and Telvin Rucker each scored touchdowns, but a blocked punt for a touchdown and another miscue on special teams helped Bluefield College post the final 23 points of the game in a 26-14 victory over Cumberland in football action here Saturday night at Mitchell Stadium.

Huntley scored from a yard out in the first quarter and after Jace Capps blocked a punt for the Phoenix (0-1), Rucker carried five yards for a TD and a 14-3 Cumberland lead early in the second period.

The turning point of the game came late in the second quarter with the Phoenix driving for a potential third touchdown of the half. On 4th-and-1 at the Bluefield 41, Logan Hinnant shot the gap for the Ram defense and tackled Joseph Rushin for a one-yard loss, giving the home team the ball at its own 42 with 2:21 left in the half.

Bluefield (1-0) moved 58 yards on eight plays, using a pair of timeouts to post a huge touchdown just before the half.

Kevin McKenzie was ejected from the game for targeting, giving the Rams their initial first down on the drive. Cason Whitt scrambled and found Alex Martin for a 16-yard gain on the next third down and the quarterback broke a tackle near the goal line for the score with 30 seconds before intermission, making it 14-10 at the break.

Cumberland gained 181 yards in the first half but managed just 15 in the third quarter and 78 in the second half, posting three 3-and-out drives and six total possessions that gained less than 20 yards.

An errant snap on a Cumberland punt resulted in a 39-yard loss, setting up the Rams at the CU25, but the defense held, including a sack by Capps, forcing a 34-yard field goal by Tanner Griffith.

Bluefield capitalized on the big play to take the lead for good, with Whitt finding Jeff Hughes over the middle for a 60-yard catch-and-run for a TD and a 20-14 edge with 1:52 left in the third period.

The Rams then scored on special teams in the fourth quarter, with Isaiah Fenner blocking a punt in the end zone that was recovered by Michael Everett with 8:28 to play.

Cumberland had two chances for scoring passes late in the contest, with a throw from Huntley to Denarius Toliver knocked away by Bluefield’s Jonathan Green. Huntley was then harassed by Will Seitz on the next CU possession, resulting in an underthrow in the end zone to Marcus Bryson.

Huntley finished 16-of-33 passing for 182 yards and one interception, though the Rams posted two sacks, seven QB hurries and five pass breakups. Cumberland rushed 45 times for 100 yards, just over two yards-per-carry.

Whitt completed 13-of-28 throws for 202 yards and one TD. The Cumberland defense limited the Rams ground attack to 35 carries for 83 yards.

Cumberland finally put together its first solid drive of the game late in the first quarter, starting with a 32-yard completion from Huntley to Bryson. Rushin carried twice for a first down and Huntley’s wheel route down the right sideline to Kimlee North was good for 34 yards for the Bluefield six-yard line.

Three plays later Huntley started left, changed course and dove into the end zone for a one-yard TD and a 7-0 CU advantage.

Bluefield answered with a scoring drive of its own, beginning with a 33-yard completion from Whitt to Charles Black. Malik Brown rushed for 22 yards on third down to the CU25. The Phoenix defense forced a field goal and the Rams hurt themselves with two five-yard penalties, but Griffith snuck a 47-yard field goal just over the crossbar, cutting the Cumberland lead to 7-3.

Capps provided the first big play of the game for the Phoenix, blocking a punt on the next Bluefield possession, setting up CU at the Rams’ 18-yard line. Kendall Johnson carried for 13 yards on the first play and Rucker went the final five yards for the score and a 14-3 CU lead with 9:05 left in the second period.

Cumberland opens the home schedule next Saturday, taking on Union College at 1:30 p.m. at Nokes-Lasater Field.