October 01, 20221st2nd3rd4thFinal
1st Quarter
CUMBERLATD06:04Adam Foulk (Job Matossian kick)
2nd Quarter
CUMBPHTD12:07Joe Johnson 46 Yd Pass From Luke Holloway (Hunter Mathis missed kick)
4th Quarter
CUMBERLAFG03:10Job Matossian 23 Yd
1st Downs2013
3rd Down Conversions7-225-16
4th Down Conversions2-50-1
Passing (Comp-Att)197 (20-40) 105 (10-23)
Rushing (Att)117 (45) 53 (38)
Total Yards314158
Fumbles Lost00
Phoenix fall in a low scoring battle 10-6
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Phoenix fall in a low scoring battle 10-6
(Credit: Dillon Miller)

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky.-- The Phoenix fall in a defensive battle to the University of the Cumberlands 10-6 despite a season-high five sacks. 

Cumberland (2-3, 0-3 MSC) allowed three total points defensively in a low-scoring game where they had five different players combine for sacks. 

Quarterback Luke Holloway threw for 197 yards with one touchdown while also leading the team with 68 rushing yards. Joe Johnson was the leading receiver for the Phoenix, hauling in five receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown. Freshman linebacker Branden Barnes led the Phoenix defense with 13 total tackles including two sacks.

The University of the Cumberlands (3-2, 1-2 MSC) were led by their special teams unit. They recorded two blocked kicks with a scoop and score touchdown following a blocked punt. The Patriots quarterback, Ben Nixon was 9-21 with 101 yards in the air while Jamar Nuby led the team with 31 rushing yards.

Head coach Tim Mathis was aggressive out of the gate, electing to go for an onside kick on the opening kick-off. The Phoenix recovered the ball at the 34-yard line and drove it 64 yards before they turned the ball over on downs at the one-yard line.

After a three and out later in the first quarter, Matthew Pewitt's punt was blocked and returned for a 12-yard touchdown by Adam Foulk. 

The Phoenix started their fourth possession with great field possession and drove the ball 39 yards down the field. Unfortunately, the drive would end with a blocked 37-yard field goal attempt.

After forcing a three-and-out, Cumberland found paydirt for the first time on the second play from scrimmage after Holloway found Johnson downfield for a 46-yard touchdown. The Patriot's special teams unit found their third block of the game, blocking the PAT attempt to hold on to a 7-6 lead over the Phoenix. 

Cumberland's defense stepped up big in the second quarter forcing three punts and a turnover on downs. Recovering the ball on downs, the Phoenix chipped their way down the field to put themselves in position for a 40-yard field goal attempt before the half. Austin Nunley went out for the field goal attempt and sent it just left of the uprights to send the Phoenix into the half still trailing 7-6.

The Patriots missed back-to-back field goals to start the second half as the Cumberland defense continued to shut out the Patriot's offense.

Both defenses continued to shine in the low-scoring affair up until there was 3:40 left in the game when the Patriots converted on a 23-yard field goal attempt to extend their lead to 10-6 over the Phoenix. 

Cumberland had a chance in the final two minutes to drive down the field and take the lead late but they fell short after turning the ball over on downs with three seconds left in the game.

The Phoenix will be back in action at home for their homecoming game when they take on Campbellsville University. The game will feature Cumberland's Rise Above campaign featuring Tim Tebow as a guest speaker.