PIKEVILLE – The University of Pikeville football team built a 28-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of action, allowing it to hold on for a 42-28 win over visiting Union on Saturday at the Hambley Athletic Complex.
Trailing by 30 points near the start of the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs tried to rally back with 16 unanswered points, but time ran out on the effort, allowing the Bears to improve to 3-6 overall and 2-1 in the Mid-South Conference East Division. The Bulldogs drop to 0-8, including an 0-4 mark in MSC East play.
Four straight rushing touchdowns helped UPIKE to the early lead, highlighted by Quan Weaver’s 58-yard scamper to make it 14-0. Weaver finished with a career-high 235 yards on the day, adding two scores along the way.
Weaver and Jamar Kirksey accounted for 21 straight points in just under a three-minute span in the first quarter as Union didn’t help itself with a fumbled kickoff return that set up a three-play scoring drive that ended with Kirksey punching it in from six-yards out.
The turnover on the return was one of two Union fumbles on the day. UPIKE wasn’t immune either, as its one fumble led to an eight-play, 50-yard drive to bring the Bulldogs within 14 with just over two minutes to play.
It ended up being two minutes too many for the Bulldogs as they couldn’t put a stop to Weaver who carried six straight times before quarterback R.J. Rosemond, Jr., took a knee to run out the clock.
After the hot start on the ground, UPIKE had to make the plays allowing it to hold on for the win through the air. Rosemond Jr., connected with Austin Pray for 34 yards to make it a 35-12 lead, then following a fumble and punt on Union’s next two drives, hit Emmanuel Harris with a 33-yard pass to make the lead 30.
Rosemond Jr., had the best outing of his career, completing 15-of-18 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns without any interceptions. He also kept the ball 12 times for 21 net yards and a touchdown. Elijah Bell was his favorite target, hauling in five catches for 60 yards.
Now with 1,239 rushing yards this season, Weaver is in second place in program history as only Calvin Joplin has had more yards at 1,274. The sensational sophomore also moved into third place on the program’s career rushing and career touchdowns lists.
UPIKE led the Bulldogs in total offense 530-422, including a 308-158 lead on the ground. Union had more passing yards at 264-222, but it’s worth noting that its quarterback attempted 56 passes with 27 completions, compared to just 18 attempts for Rosemond Jr.
Jack Hopkins gave the Bears a big lift on defense with 13 tackles, along with true freshman Taeron Brown who finished with eight tackles after coming into the game with just six on the season. Cornelius Jackson added a sack and Chad Conway batted down a pair of passes.
UPIKE will be back on the road on Saturday, Nov. 7, taking on Kentucky Christian at 1:30 p.m. in Grayson, Ky. The Knights lost 41-0 at home against Faulkner on Saturday, falling to 1-8 overall and 1-2 in the MSC East.