LEBANON, Tenn. - No. 20
Cumberland (Tenn.) kept Union's high-power offense in check as the hosts
recorded the 29-18 Mid-South Conference West victory Saturday.
Cumberland outgained Union 366-241, keeping the Bulldogs under half yards-per-game average. The 18 points are the second lowest Union has posted in a game, scoring on 10 in a loss at NCAA FCS Wofford (S.C.) back on Sept. 18.
Senior running back Armond Smith (Stone Mountain, Ga.) made history in becoming the fourth player in Bulldog history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and the 10th to do so in a career. He also scored his 13th rushing touchdown, tying Clarence Mackey's single-season record. Smith finished with 92 yards on 19 carries, giving him 1,042 yards on the season and 1,070 for his career.
The loss drops Union to 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the MSC West, while Cumberland improves to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play.
Down 14-3 at the half, Union rallied in the third quarter to take an 18-14 advantage. Smith scored on a 2-yard run to cap six-play, 74-yard drive with 11:13 left in the third. Chris Bethel (Allensville, Ohio) added the 2-point conversion to make it 14-11 Cumberland.
After recovering a Cumberland fumble, Union marched 55 yards in eight plays to grab the lead. Mike Brinkley (Anthony, Fla.) hit P.J. Burrowes (Middlesboro, Ky.) for a 19-yard touchdown pass, lifting Union to the 18-14 advantage at the 1:52 mark in the third.
However, everything changed in the fourth.
Ben Miller tackled Chandler Priest (Loganville, Ga.) in the end zone for a safety, pulling Cumberland within 18-16 with 13:55 to play.
Jared White then booted a 33-yard field goal to send Cumberland ahead 19-18 at the 11:52 mark.
With 5:36 to play, Cumberland stretched the margin to 26-18 when Mitch Reynolds hit Curt Bureau for a 28-yard scoring pass. A White 34-yard field goal with 1:08 to play sealed the 29-18 decision for Cumberland.
Brinkley completed 9-of-19 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. Burrowes caught three passes for 61 yards and a score. Defensively, Brad Fulton (Maryville, Tenn.) and Zach Eagler (Florence, Ky.) each had 12 total stops with Eagler adding 1.0 tackles for a loss.
For Cumberland, Bureau completed 18-of-25 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Lemarco Miller caught six passes for 46 yards, while Reynolds hauled in five for 98 yards and two scores. Tim McCord led the Cumberland ground game with 75 yards on 18 carries.
Union travels to Shorter (Ga.) for another MSC West showdown Saturday at 1:30 p.m.