Bulldogs drop opener, 38-37
LEBANON, Tenn. – Travis Carter ran back a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and Anthony Allen returned an interception 94 yards for six points, but Cumberland missed an extra point in the third quarter and then missed a field goal in the final period, dropping a 38-37 decision to Campbellville University Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Donnell Stadium.
The Bulldogs (0-1) had just 277 total yards of offense compared to 509 for Campbellsville (1-0), but big plays allowed CU to stay in the contest before falling just short.
The Cumberland defense was on the field for more than 20 minutes in the first half and almost 35 minutes in the contest. The Tigers took full advantage of their size advantage, running for 414 yards on the ground on 63 attempts, including 214 by Wayne Coffee and 141 from quarterback and Mt. Juliet native Robert Hill.
But the Bulldogs stayed in the game with the big play, including Carter’s kickoff return in the first quarter after Campbellsville kicked a field goal on the opening possession. CU took advantage of a Tigers fumble late in the first half, with Curt Bureau hitting Mitch Reynolds for an 11-yard score with 21 seconds left in the half, cutting the Campbellsville lead to 17-14.
The teams combined for 358 total yards and 44 points in the third quarter, including a 52-yard TD pass from Bureau to Mike Moore on the first play of the quarter, a play in which the 6-foot Moore outleaped the defender for the catch. The two players hooked up again just three minutes later for a beautiful 54-yard scoring pass.
Campbellsville continued to march down the field as well, with Coffee zigging and zagging 31 yards for a TD and David Mason adding scoring runs of one and two yards, the final one with 1:34 remaining in the period, which would prove to be the final points of the game.
Campbellsville’s Calvin Bini, who returned a punt 77 yards for a score second quarter, muffed a punt early in the final period and Todd Holman recovered for CU. But the Bulldogs could not take advantage of the short field and Nick Sasser’s 34-yard field goal sailed wide left.
Cumberland did get the ball back with 4:57 remaining after Hill threw an interception deep in CU territory. Jermaine Strong picked off the pass and returned it nine yards.
The Bulldogs moved to the Campbellsville 40 before Bureau was sacked and then just missed Carter streaking down the seam inside the 20. Bureau was sacked again and his pass to Carter on fourth down came up seven yards short.
The Cumberland defense made one last stop and got the offense the ball back with 51 seconds left, but Bureau was sacked and fumbled on the first play and Campbellsville kneeled just once to run out the clock.
Bureau finished 18-for-26 for 225 yards and three touchdowns with just one interception. Carter amassed 155 yards of total offense, while Moore caught two passes for 106 yards and two scores.
Hill finished 13-for-24 passing with two INTs and only 95 yards.
Cumberland hosts Georgetown College at 1:30 p.m. next Saturday at Lindsey Donnell Stadium.