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Campbellsville University used an early defensive spark and went on to finish out a 42-6 home win Saturday against UVA-Wise at HIG Field in Finley Stadium.
The game did not seem to start in the Fighting Tigers favor as Wise blocked a Carl Ojala punt and the Cavaliers recovered at the CU 27.
However, Wise would not take advantage, finding themselves on a fourth down of their own at the Campbellsville 11. Wise had its kick blocked by Tiger senior Dwight Houston, who scooped the loose ball for a 15-yard return.
After an exchange of possessions, Tiger red-shirt freshman Michael Chandler intercepted a Wise pass and returned it 21 yards to midfield.
Campbellsville (5-5) used a 16-yard chain-moving run by Wayne Coffee and a 14-yard hook-up from Will Warf to Diaz Bolden to swing the momentum toward the Tigers.
Gerwan Brewer carried the ball the next three plays for 17 yards and moved the Tigers inside the 5 where Campbellsville struck on Wayne Coffee’s two-yard run.
The first of what would be six David Hon extra points put CU up 7-0 with 3:19 left to play in the first quarter.
UVA-Wise didn’t let the Tigers’ celebration last as the Cavaliers returned the ensuing kick-off 97 yards for the score. Houston blocked his second kick on the PAT, keeping Campbellsville in front 7-6.
Campbellsville used only 13 seconds to score on its fifth offensive drive when Warf found Demytreus Gipson for a 28 yard touchdown early in-the second quarter.
After both teams traded punts, Wise chose an option play on first down, but Tiger freshman Darius Skinner forced a fumble on what was already going to be a six-yard loss. Earl McCann recovered the loose ball with daylight, only having to make a move on the quarterback on his way to a 52-yard defensive touchdown for a 21-6 CU lead at half-time.
Skinner, the Mid-South Conference Defensive Player of the Week, intercepted a pass early (one of two picks) in the second half to set up Nathan Cooper’s 13-yard TD pass to Gipson.
Coffee added a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs and finished with 152 rushing yards for the home squad.
Notes and milestones
* Both CU quarterbacks Nathan Cooper and Will Warf reached the 1,000-yard passing mark for the season.
* Wayne Coffee became the sixth Tiger to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
* Dwight Houston had 1.5 sacks, giving him 18.5 for the season, tying Chris Gust for the most-ever by a CU linebacker in a career.
* Carl Ojala became the fourth Tiger punter to punt for more than 2,000 yards in a season.
* Campbellsville finishes in second place in the Mid-South Conference East Division for the third straight season.
* The 36-point deficit is the Tigers’ largest margin of victory since beating Union (49-7) in 2001.
* CU is sponsoring a canned food drive at Saturday’s game. Boxes will be set up at the gate.
CU Tigers 42, Virginia-Wise 6
UVW 6 0 0 0 — 6
CU 7 14 7 14 — 42
CU — Wayne Coffee, 2, run (David Hon kick)
UVW — Marcus Bratton, 97, kick-off return (kick blocked)
CU — Demytreus Gipson, 28, pass from Will Warf (Hon kick)
CU — Earl McCann, 52, fumble recovery return (Hon kick)
CU — Gipson, 13, pass from Cooper (Hon kick)
CU — Coffee, 24, run (Hon kick)
CU — Coffee, 2, run (Hon kick)
First downs 11 19
Rushing 31-67 50-239
Passing 6-35-3 14-29-1
Passing yards 126 166
Total yards 193 405
Fumbles lost 1 2
Penalties 4-20 8-80
Punts-avg 9-36 5-42
CU individual statistics
Rushing — Wayne Coffee 30-152, Gerwan Brewer 10-74, Jeremy Satchell 2-26, Seth McFerrin 3-6, Will Warf 3-(-3), Nathan Cooper 2-(-16).
Passing — Warf 6-15-1 for 88, Cooper 8-14-0 for 78.
Receiving — Demytreus Gipson 4-68, Diaz Bolden 4-24, Coffee 2-10, Blake Fields 1-39, Stan Warrenhuffman 1-22, Brewer 1-6, McFerrin 1-(-3).
Tackles (solos) — Michael Chandler 8 (4), Dwight Houston 6 (1), Earl McCann 5 (3), Nick Reed 5 (2), Darius Skinner 5 (2), Connor Porter 4 (3), Brandon Brown 3 (3), Rod Dickerson 3 (3), Jeffrey Demary 3 (2), Winston Harbison 3 (1), Brandon Hillary 2 (2), Gerry Moore 2 (1), Tae Green 1 (1), Brewer 1 (1), Kendall Marbury 1 (1), Carl Ojala 1 (1), William Harris 1, Joe Blackstone 1, Daniel Wiechart 1, Dontae Brown 1.
Interceptions — Skinner 2-20, Chandler 1-21. Fumble recovery — McCann 1-52.