September 15, 20181st2nd3rd4thFinal
Cumberland Univ.7771435
Ave Maria University20014034
1st Quarter
AMUFBTD09:56J. Alexander 41 Yd Pass From Will Tate (Brandon Butry missed kick)
CUTD08:10Toliver 50 Yd Pass From Huntley (Kline kick)
AMUFBTD03:12Will Tate 12 Yd Run (Brandon Butry kick)
AMUFBTD00:00Quin Mauricette 10 Yd Run (Brandon Butry kick)
2nd Quarter
CUTD10:42Rucker 23 Yd Run (Kline kick)
3rd Quarter
CUTD11:32Toliver 67 Yd Run (Kline kick)
AMUFBTD09:16Kevon O'Connor 32 Yd Pass From Will Tate (Brandon Butry kick)
AMUFBTD03:06Will Tate 5 Yd Run (Brandon Butry kick)
4th Quarter
CUTD14:17Huntley 2 Yd Run (Kline kick)
CUTD02:32Huntley 2 Yd Run (Kline kick)
Stats at a GlanceCUAMUFB
1st Downs2318
3rd Down Conversions10-185-12
4th Down Conversions1-21-1
Passing (Comp-Att)129 (9-21) 216 (12-25)
Rushing (Att)293 (53) 174 (34)
Total Yards422390
Fumbles Lost10
Fourth-quarter comeback carries CU past Ave Maria
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Fourth-quarter comeback carries CU past Ave Maria
Dezmon Huntley scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, helping CU to a 35-34 win at Ave Maria. (Credit Bob Tamboli)

AVE MARIA, Fla. – Dezmon Huntley scored twice on short runs in the fourth quarter and Jimmy Keys, Jr., blocked a punt and registered an interception in the final period as well, as Cumberland overcame a 13-point deficit to post a 35-34 victory over Ave Maria University here Saturday in football action.

The Phoenix (2-2) trailed 20-7 and 34-21 in the contest, with the Gyrenes (1-2) taking advantage of a fumble, a blocked punt and a muffed punt snap for short fields that turned into touchdowns. Will Tate tossed 41 and 32-yard TD passes for Ave Maria and the sophomore quarterback rushed for two more scores.

Cumberland capped a 10-play, 64-yard drive with a one-yard TD run by Huntley two plays into the fourth quarter, pulling CU within 34-28. The teams traded punt before a 62-yard pass from Tate to Kevon O’Connor, a ball that went right through the hands of Keys, Jr., changed the field position.

The Phoenix defense forced a field goal and Keys, Jr., came off the corner to block the 33-yard attempt, giving CU the ball with 6:44 remaining.

Cumberland covered 78 yards on nine plays, taking more than four minutes off the clock. A pair of personal foul penalties on Ave Maria helped CU on the drive. Huntley carried the final three yards for the score and Sean Kline’s PAT gave the Phoenix their first lead of the contest.

Keys, Jr., then picked off Tate on the first play of the ensuing possession, returning the INT 38 yards to the AMU 10-yard line. Cumberland milked the clock and forced the Gyrenes to use their final two minutes. Kline missed a 26-yard field goal, but Ave Maria had just 1:04 remaining and no timeouts to drive the length of the field.

The home team gained just 10 yards on six plays, getting a new set of downs thanks to a Tate scramble, but his final pass was knocked down by Champ Leddon and Cumberland prevailed, 35-34.

Tate rushed for 87 yards on 13 carries, a combination of scrambles and quarterback draws, while Quino Mauricette gained 83 yards on 18 attempts with one TD. Tate finished 12-of-24 passing for 189 yards and two scores.

Cumberland finally managed to grind out drives on the ground, gaining 290 yards on 52 rushes and four touchdowns. Huntley posted 72 yards on 17 attempts, Telvin Rucker carried 13 times for 63 yards and Joseph Rushin added 42 yards on 10 carries. Denarius Toliver made a huge impact with a 67-yard end-around in the third quarter, racing past defenders for his second TD of the game.

Ave Maria got on the scoreboard first in the contest after a CU fumble in the opening quarter. Tate hit Joshua Alexander on the first play for a 41-yard touchdown but the PAT was wide right.

Cumberland answered on the ensuing drive, with Huntley finding Toliver down the middle for a 50-yard scoring play and a 7-6 CU edge after the PAT was good.

The Gyrenes came right back, marching 75 yards on nine plays, mostly on the ground. Marcinette carried four times for 30 yards and Tate gained 32 yards rushing as well, including the final 12 yards on a QB draw for a 13-7 Ave Maria advantage.

Alexander blocked a punt for AMU on Cumberland’s next drive, setting up the Gyrenes at the CU22. Five plays later Mauricette rushed 10 yards around left end for the score and Ave Maria led 20-7 on the final play of the first period.

The Phoenix answered, starting with a 25-yard completion from Huntley to Jawan Gray down the left sideline. Rushin caught a dying quail for a first down after Huntley was driven back on a pass play and hit as he threw. Rucker broke through up the middle for a 23-yard TD run on the ninth play of the drive and CU trailed 20-14.

Cumberland forced a punt and drove deep into AMU territory in the final minute of the period, with Ian Hafner catching a third down throw for 18 yards and Rucker gaining 24 on three runs up the middle. CU reached the Ave Maria 22 and on fourth down, Huntley pass under pressure fell short of Luke Turner and the visitors trailed by six at intermission.

The Phoenix briefly gained the lead in the third quarter on Toliver’s sprint down the right sideline, going untouched for 67 yards and the score, but the Gyrenes answered on their ensuing possession.

A personal foul penalty on CU gave Ave Maria a first down and Tate hit O’Connor for a 32-yard touchdown and a 27-21 AMU advantage with 9:16 left in the period. On Cumberland’s next drive, Helman Garcia fumbled the snap on a punt but got a short kick away, setting up the Gyrenes at midfield.

Anthony Llosa caught a 22-yard pass and two plays later Tate rushed the final five yards for the score, extending the lead to 34-21 and setting up the final rally for the Phoenix.

Cumberland is back at home for the first time in three weeks next Saturday, taking on Edward Waters College at 1:30 p.m. at Nokes-Lasater Field.