CAMPBELLSVILLE – There was plenty of fight in the University of Pikeville football team, but in the end Campbellsville University quarterback Jacob Russell was too good, throwing for four scores and rushing for another to lead the Tigers to a 42-34 win at Finley Stadium.
Down 42-20 in the fourth quarter, UPIKE went to work over the final 10 minutes, outscoring Campbellsville 14-0. But a final drive with a chance to tie the game came up short as Russell Gordon couldn’t find an open receiver down the stretch.
Gordon was in the game for R.J. Rosemond Jr., who had started the game in place of an injured Sani Warren, but he too took a hit in the first half that took him out the rest of the way. Gordon ended up just 8 of 23 passing for 106 yards and a touchdown. Rosemond Jr., was 6 for 11 for 60 yards.
Quan Weaver was the highlight of the UPIKE offense, rushing for a career-high 223 yards with three touchdowns. Rosemond Jr., added 70 yards on the ground and Gordon ended up with 46.
Russell completed 29 of 42 passes for a program-record 426 yards and got a big lift from Tyus Alcorn with 165 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches.
Arthur Williams led the UPIKE defense with 7.5 tackles, followed by Jack Hopkins with six and Darius Greene added 5.5. Romon Morris and Quinton Salley both finished with interceptions. The Tigers outgained UPIKE 580-519, while both teams tallied 28 first downs.
The Bears slowing down Russell was going to be important to keep them in the game, but in the first half they got help from his receivers as numerous dropped passes kept the CU offense off the field.
UPIKE took the gifts and responded in a big way as Weaver took off for touchdown runs of 32 and 25 yards and R.J. Rosemond Jr., tallied the final score of the first half with a 40-yard scamper on fourth down to give UPIKE a 20-14 lead at halftime.
Campbellsville had scored first on its opening drive, keeping the ball for nearly seven minutes on 16 plays. The final call was an 11-yard pass from Russell to Joey Harrington in the corner of the end zone. It was Russell’s only touchdown of the first half.
Already playing without Warren, the UPIKE offense was delivered another blow when Rosemond Jr., came out after a hard hit on the CU sideline late in the second quarter. Gordon was put in control of the offense for the rest of the game.
Gordon had appeared in four games for UPIKE, but was utilized almost exclusively in a Bearcat running formation. His only passing attempt of the season was a 13-yard touchdown in the season opener against Bluefield.
After taking just two plays for Russell to put CU back ahead by one with a pass to Alcorn, the Bears took over and drove down the field behind the legs of Gordon, but a 21-yard field-goal attempt from Damir Karapandzic was no good off the upright.
Campbellsville seemed to be energized after the miss, scoring on an eight-play, 80-yard drive, then following another Russell interception, got the ball back and scored two more touchdowns on two straight drives.
Russell threw a 25-yard touchdown to Harrington to make it 35-20, and then aired out a 55-yard score to Alcorn to go ahead by 22 points with less than 10 minutes left.
UPIKE had a late push in it with Weaver leading the charge. He cut into the deficit first with a 13-yard run, and then Gordon made it an eight-point game at 42-34 with a 13-yard pass to Austin Pray. Weaver had set up the touchdown pass with a 33-yard run.
Needing a stop late to have a chance at tying the game, UPIKE got just what it needed with its first sack of Russell in the game. The Tigers were forced to punt and the Bears got the ball at their 10 with just under two minutes on the clock.
Gordon completed a couple of long passes, and a pass interference call extended the drive, but a 4th and 10 heave on the CU side of the field fell to the ground, allowing the Tigers to take a knee to end it.