CU can't escape nine-turnover tilt

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Tigers lose at home to Pikeville 37-30.

By Chris Megginson

Despite turning the ball over a record nine times, Campbellsville University rallied in the final four minutes of the game to pull within a touchdown of the University of Pikeville in a 37-30 upset at Finley Stadium’s HIG Field Saturday.
“It’s hard to beat anyone with nine turnovers, but I thought defensively, we played a pretty good game,” CU head coach Perry Thomas said.
“Pikeville deserves credit for the day though. They played with more discipline than we’ve seen from that  program. They’ve always had talent, but now they’re a more-controlled and disciplined talent. I thought they did a good job of getting after us.”
UPike quarterback Trevor Hoskins, who was named the MSC and NAIA Offensive Player of the Week last week, threw for 263 yards and four touchdowns in the win. CU assisted with its turnovers, as 31 of the Bears’ 37 points followed a CU turnover, including a 14-0 start for Pikeville.
However, the Tigers’ didn’t give up though.
Trailing 37-14 at the start of the fourth quarter, Campbellsville scored three times in the final seven minutes.
Wayne Coffee scored the Tigers’ first touchdown of the second half with seven minutes remaining on an 8-yard run. The short drive was set up by an interception by CU defensive lineman Jermaine Dumas. A 30-yard field goal with just below four minutes left and a 62-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Henry to Stan Warrenhuffman pulled the Tigers within a touchdown with 1:30 left.
While the Tiger defense looked to hold strong once again and give its’ offense another chance late, Hoskins completed a 16-yard pass to Kyle Weiz on third-and-12 to secure the win in the final minute.
“Our guys are going to fight to the end. That’s our trademark now. That shows you what our attitude is like and maturity,” Thomas said. “I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win, but we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that hole.”
That hole began on the Tigers’ first drive when Demitri Travis, the reigning MSC and NAIA Defensive Player of the Week, picked off a Will Warf pass at midfield. Earl McCann silenced the Bears’ drive with an interception at the CU 9. While CU dodged an early Pikeville touchdown, Warf was picked off again. This time it was Jade Haddix on the CU 45. Hoskins capped that drive with his first touchdown, a 22-yard pass to Hunter Adams for UPike’s first score. Jared Harris later scored on a 5-yard run to close the first quarter following a fumble by Tiger running back Wayne Coffee.
Campbellsville found the end zone early in the second quarter after Darius Skinner returned a Pikeville punt to the Bears’ 21. A face-mask penalty moved the ball inside the 10 and Warf punched the ball in on a 3-yard quarterback keeper.
The Tigers evened the score (14-14) on its next drive as Warf moved the Tigers down field and capped a 62-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Leonard.
Pikeville answered for its only score that did not begin by a CU turnover. K’Wayne Hunter returned the Tiger kickoff 51 yards and Hoskins found Axxel Rivas on a 40-yard touchdown to regain the lead, 20-14. UPike had its point after try blocked by redshirt-freshman linebacker Blake Young, who also had 11 tackles and a forced fumble in the game.
UPike would go on to score twice more in the first half on a 22-yard field goal by Michael Quick and a 6-yard TD pass from Hoskins to Jordan Amis to lead 30-14 at the half.
Hoskins’ touchdown in the third quarter was a 29-yard pass to Amis.
Dwight Houston led CU’s defense with 12 tackles and the only sack on Hoskins. McCann shined in the secondary with four tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions while Rod Dickerson had eight tackles, an interception and a break up.
CU (3-2, 1-1 MSC East) will travel to Georgetown College on Saturday (1:30) while Pikeville (4-1, 1-0) hosts Lindsey Wilson.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us with Georgetown coming up,” Thomas said. “Obviously it stinks to lose in the fashion you lost today. But this thing (MSC East title) is still wide open.  We just need to regroup and get healed up.”