September 07, 20191st2nd3rd4thFinal
Cincinnati Christian60006
Cumberland Univ.770014
1st Quarter
CUTD09:52Rucker 3 Yd Run (Brewington kick)
CCUTD04:03Sanders 10 Yd Run (Nixon missed kick)
2nd Quarter
CUTD05:11Rucker 1 Yd Run (Brewington kick)
Stats at a GlanceCCUCU
1st Downs1321
3rd Down Conversions4-107-15
4th Down Conversions0-01-2
Passing (Comp-Att)107 (11-21) 50 (5-11)
Rushing (Att)54 (23) 253 (60)
Total Yards161303
Fumbles Lost00
Defense Forces Three Turnovers to help push CU past Eagles
Saturday, September 7, 2019
Defense Forces Three Turnovers to help push CU past Eagles
Tony Bennett picks off CCU quarterback late in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory. (Credit: BJ Nelson)

LEBANON, Tenn.- Senior running back Telvin Rucker rushed for three yard and one yard touchdowns, and the defense added three interceptions to lead the Phoenix to a 14-6 victory over Cincinnati Christian Saturday at Nokes-Lasater field.

Cumberland (1-0) compiled 303 yards of total offense, 253 yards of those yards coming on the ground. The defense played stout on the day, only allowing 161 yards of total offense and one score to Cincinnati Christian (1-1). 

Rucker carried the ball 19 times for 75 yards and added both Phoenix scores. Freshman Treylon Sheppard debuted in style for the Phoenix, leading the team in rushing yards with 79 on 14 touches and then longest run of the day (19 yards). Kris Parker added 9 carries for 55 yards, running through Eagle defenders to earn his yards after contact.

Kevin McKenzie, Tyler Martin-Miles, and Jon Carrothers each shared the lead for tackles at 3.5. Martin-Miles grabbed a big interception that he took back to the house, but it was negated by a block in the back penalty on the return. In the third quarter, Cole Hill created another turnover for the Phoenix after CCU Quarterback Derrick Taylor's pass hit off of the receiver and bounced into the air, allowing Hill to make the grab and take it back 11 yards. Tony Bennett forced the biggest turnover for the Phoenix on the day with a pick in the endzone after the Eagles blocked a punt, putting them in great position to get back into the game late. 

Taylor was 11-17 on the day for 107 yards with three interceptions. CCU running back Adam Sanders ran for 46 yards on 12 carries and the lone Eagles score. Defensively, Iziah Woods led the charge with five solo tackles and six assisted with one tackle for a loss.

The Phoenix opened the game with a nine play 67 yard drive that ended with a three yard Rucker touchdown rush, but the Eagles responded with a touchdown of their own on an Adam Sandars 10 yard touchdown scamper. Cumberland's Jimmy Turner managed to get around the corner of the Eagle's line to block the extra point attempt, preserving the Phoenix lead.

After a couple of slow drives by the Eagles, the Phoenix were able to move the ball again being very physical, running right into the teeth of the defense. Joseph Rushin started the series with a 17 yard rush, followed by rushes from Kris Parker and Treylon Sheppard to set up  Rucker in the red zone. Rucker pushed the pile forward for a one yard rush after two consecutive five yard carries.

The Phoenix defense was able to hold strong in the third quarter forcing the Eagles to two straight three and outs before Hill's pick leading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, the Eagles held Cumberland's first drive to six plays and only eight yards, forcing a Phoenix punt. The Eagles brought the house on the kick, De'havion Allen blocking punter Helman Garcia's attempt and then returning it all the way to the 20 yard line. After two short carries by Sanders, quarterback Taylor dropped back on third and long and underthrew his receiver, allowing Tony Bennett to intercept the ball in the endzone. Cumberland grinded out the clock on the ensuing drive to pull out the win.

Cumberland dominated the time of possesion, holding on to the ball for 39:04 of the game. CU was able to get 21 first downs and convert 7-15 third down tries.

The Phoenix hit the road next week to take on MSC newcomer Thomas More in Crestview Hills, Ky. The game is scheduled for a 12:30 CT kickoff.