Williamsburg, Ky- On a hot September Saturday in the hills of Kentucky, the University of the Cumberlands Patriots employed a red hot rushing attack to defeat the Crusaders of North Greenville College. Although controlling the clock, keeping possession of the ball for a majority of the game, the Crusaders could not turn time of possession into touchdowns. The Patriots, however, rode the legs of Moses Cochran to a 21-13 victory at James H. Taylor II Stadium.
The Crusaders could not get their usually strong running game going. Team leading rusher Travis Mosley was held to 65 yards on 23 carries. Quarterback Eric Moeller hooked up with his receivers for a productive day completing 20 of 44 passes for 261 yards. Travis Talbert led the Crusaders with 5 catches for 134 yards. However, it was Cochran and Ricky Walker who stole the show, rushing for a combined 225 yards.
The Patriots came out of the gate running. Cochran scored on a nine-yard run on the third play from scrimmage. Forty seconds into the game, the Patriots led 7-0. After exchanging possessions, the Crusaders would embark on a 17 play drive that lasted almost 15 minutes. Three times Coach Mike Taylor opted to go for it on fourth down. Unfortunately for the Crusaders, the drive ended without scoring any points when Mosley was stopped in the backfield on another fourth down conversion attempt. That would be the story for most of the day for the Crusader offense. They would move the ball, but then stall before scoring.
The Patriots scored in each if the second and third quarters. Larry Hay scored from 2 yards on a quarterback keeper and completed a 30 yard pass to Lawrence McGee for another score. Adrian Escalona would add two third quarter field goals for the Crusaders from lengths of 32 and 23 yards.
The Crusaders came alive in the fourth quarter, looking as if they would mount a comeback. Mosley took a screen pass from Moeller 38 yards for the touchdown with 7:24 to play. North Greenville looked to get the ball back trailing 21-13 with a little more than four minues remaining as the defensive front finally was able to stop the Patriots running game, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave the Patriots new life and a first down. From there, the Patriots ran down the clock and down the field. The final play of the game made for an exciting end. Attempting a 23 yard field goal with time expiring, the Crusaders blocked the kick. The ball was picked up by a Crusader defender and pitched to Tyrell Davis who made it as far as the Patriot 40 yard line before being tackled to end the game. The Crusaders, who fell to 0-2 on the season, will host Wingate September 10 at Younts Stadium in Tigerville, SC.