Williamsburg, KY – Josiah Robbins tallied over 350 yards of offense and four total touchdowns while Weston Hayes also gathered four scores, two rushing and two receiving, as the Patriots would put together a second half shutout to defeat the 23rd-ranked Wildcats of Bethel University by a score of 49-21. The victory improves the Patriots to 5-0 overall on the year and 2-0 in Mid-South Conference Bluegrass Division play.
Bethel would begin the game with possession and would not waste time finding their way onto the scoreboard. Moving the ball downfield quickly, Bethel quarterback Blake Meadors would find Braden Simmons from 16 yards out for the game's first score. The PAT was good, giving the Wildcats an early 7-0 lead. UC would respond and in a big way as six straight carries would be the drive capped by a 54-yard TD run by quarterback Josiah Robbins. The extra point by Devon McMillin was good, tying the game up at 7-7 seven minutes into the contest.
The Wildcats put together another four minute drive that once again was capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Meadors to Simmons, retaking the lead 14-7. UC's next drive would stall as McMillin would attempt a 37-yard field goal, but would miss wide left, leaving Bethel out front entering the second quarter.
On the first play of the quarter, Meadors would go to the air once more, this time finding Caleb Nelson from 37 yards out to another Wildcat touchdown. The PAT was successful, giving the Wildcats their largest lead of the contest at 21-7. On the ensuing drive, Robbins would break away for another big run, this one for 52 yards to put UC in the red zone. There, he would find Weston Hayes through the air from 13 yards out to cut into the lead. The extra point was good, making it 21-14 Bethel with just under 13 minutes to play in the half.
Bethel's next drive would make it just beyond midfield before being faced with a big fourth down. Electing to go for it, Meadors would be sacked by Tyler Pendleton to force a turnover on downs, giving UC excellent field position. Unfortunately, UC would be faced with the same decision and would be handed the same fate, turning it over on downs. The Wildcats' next attempt to move the ball downfield would be short-lived as well as Meadors would look for Ray'Quan Wilson but would be intercepted by Jeremiah Baker, taking it all the way to the Bethel 20 yard line. Cumberlands would face another fourth down, this time a fourth and goal situation. UC would turn to the speed of Hayes and he would take the jet sweep around the corner and over the goal line for his second TD of the game, his first rushing. McMillin's PAT was good, sending the game to halftime tied at 21-21.
A multitude of second-half adjustments were made during the halftime break and the final thirty minutes of play were dominated by the Patriots. UC would gain possession to start the half and would take nearly the first five minutes of the half off the clock, putting together an eight play drive capped by a 22-yard pass from Robbins to Darius Young for a Patriot score. The extra point was good, giving UC their first lead of the contest at 28-21. After trading possessions, UC's punt from McMillin would pin the Wildcats inside their own one-yard line. On the first play, Chris Witherspoon would have the ball punched away from his grasp by Jeremiah Baker while Kumi Sarpong, Jr. would recover the fumble in the end zone for a defensive touchdown, pushing UC's lead out to 35-21 after another successful PAT heading to the fourth.
Scoring in the final 15 minutes was dominated by senior Weston Hayes. With just under eight minutes to play, Robbins would find Hayes down the seam from 39 yards out as Hayes would snag the pass with his fingertips diving into the endzone for the TD score, their second connection on the day. The PAT was good, making it 42-21. The final nail driven in during the half would come inside the two minute mark and Hayes would take another jet sweep around the corner for his second rushing score and fourth score of the day. McMillin would stay perfect on PATs on the day, giving UC the 49-21 win.
Josiah Robbins would have a remarkable day, going 11-16 from 171 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He would also pitch in 188 yards on the ground on 15 carries with a score. Hayes chipped in 15 yards on the ground with two scores. Martize Smith had another great game, tallying 12 carries for 115 yards. Darius Young led the way receiving with six catches for 84 yards and a score. Hayes hauled in four passes for 78 yards and a pair of scores.
Defensively, the Patriots were extremely tough during the game, especially the second half where they allowed just under 100 yards of offense. As a unit, UC tallied nine tackles for loss, three sacks, three interceptions, five pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Leading the way individually was Tyler Pendleton with 17 total stops (11 solo, six assisted) with 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Keshawn Catlett chipped in eight tackles with a tackle for loss. Kumi Sarpong was big on the defensive line with six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and a fumble recovery for a score.
UC returns to action on Saturday, October 19th as they travel to Lebanon, Tennessee to take on the Phoenix of Cumberland University. Kickoff for that game is slated for 7 pm.