LEBANON, Tenn. — Fourth-ranked Lindsey Wilson football dropped its first-ever Mid-South Conference Bluegrass Division game today, falling to host Cumberland (Tenn.) 24-21 at Nokes-Lasater Field.
The loss ended the Blue Raiders’ divisional winning streak at 10 games, including eight straight in the Bluegrass Division. Lindsey Wilson falls to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the MSC Bluegrass with the loss.
Cumberland (4-5, 2-2) never trailed in the game while slowing the Blue Raiders’ offense that entered the game averaging 45.5 points and 508 total yards per game this season. Cumberland outgained Lindsey Wilson 414-284 in the contest.
Cumberland controlled the game — and the clock — with a ground attack that rushed for 292 yards — the most rushing yards allowed the season by the Blue Raiders. Cumberland finished the game with a time of possession advantage of more than 15 minutes.
The Lindsey Wilson offense failed to find its rhythm in the game against the stingy Phoenix defense, posting a season-low in total yards.
Cumberland got on the board first with a Kimlee North 12-yard run to complete a 15-play, 82-yard drive to give the Phoenix a 7-0 advantage.
The Blue Raiders tied the game at 7-7 late in the second quarter as Jaylen Boyd punched in a four-yard run with just under two minutes left. Boyd ran for a game-high 96 yards and a touchdown in the game.
Cumberland ended the opening half with a field goal to send the Blue Raiders into the locker room with just their second halftime deficit of the season. Sean Kline connected on 26-yard field goal to give the Phoenix the 10-7 lead at the break.
Lindsey Wilson committed the only turnover of the game on its first drive of the second half.
Cameron Dukes’ pass was batted at the line of scrimmage and fell into the hands of Malik Trollinger, who was sitting on the ground at the end of the play. The pick was Trollinger’s first of the season.
Cumberland turned the miscue into a touchdown four plays later as Dezmon Huntley scored on a quarterback sneak from one-yard out for a 17-7 lead. Huntley finished the game with 80 rushing yards and 122 passing yards in the game. He was one of three Phoenix to rush for at least 80 yards. Telvin Rucker ran for 90 yards while Joseph Rushin added 84 rushing yards.
Lindsey Wilson climbed within four points late in the third quarter as Dukes found Cam Wyche across the back of the end zone on a third-and-goal play from the 14-yard line. A bobbled snap on the extra point resulted in a miss to keep the score at 17-13. Dukes finished throwing for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Wyche caught a team-high five balls for 46 yards and the touchdown. It is his team-leading sixth touchdown catch this season.
Cumberland built its biggest lead of the game two possessions later. The Phoenix marched seven plays and 47 yards to go ahead 24-13. The deficit is the biggest of the season for the Blue Raiders. Rushin capped the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run, but that was not the critical play of the drive for Cumberland.
Facing a third-and-seven from the Lindsey Wilson 34-yard line, Huntley threw a pass over the middle the ricocheted off a pair of Blue Raider defenders and into the hands of Denarius Toliver for a 26-yard catch at the LWC eight-yard line.
Lindsey Wilson responded to cut the deficit to a three-point game with 8:34 left in regulation.
Dukes found Umar Tate in the back of the end zone for Tate’s first touchdown catch of the season. Dukes hooked up with Jay Gaudlock on the two-point conversion to pull Lindsey Wilson within 24-21.
The Lindsey Wilson defense forced a Cumberland punt and a turnover on downs over in the Phoenix final two possessions. Trent Mueller led the defensive charge finishing with a game-high 16 tackles. Michael DeLeon added 11 stops.
The Blue Raider offense, pinned deep inside its own territory both times, failed to get past midfield on either drive en route to the loss.
Lindsey Wilson returns to action at 1:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 27, against nationally-ranked Bethel (Tenn.) at Blue Raider Stadium.