Overtime Woes: Union Falls 31-28 in OT at Cumberland

Published 3:34 pm Sunday, September 2, 2018

LEBANON, Tenn. — Overtime continues to be a cruel friend to the Union College football team as it fell 31-28 in overtime to host Cumberland University on Saturday.

This is the sixth consecutive overtime loss for the Bulldogs (1-1 overall), who last won in overtime with a 17-16 decision over the University of Pikeville in 2001.

Tied at 28-all at the end of regulation, Cumberland took the first possession. The Phoenix were forced to start at the Union 40 instead of the 25 thanks to an unsportsmanlike penalty after time expired in the fourth quarter. Cumberland picked up a couple of first downs, but the drive stalled at the 18-yard line. Facing fourth-and-14, Sean Kline split the uprights to make it 31-28.

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Union struggled on its possession, losing a yard on the first two plays. On third-and-11, Cumberland sealed the victory as Jimmy Turner intercepted the pass.


Union jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter thanks to an Izayah Riettie 1-yard touchdown run and a 38-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Buchannon with 10:55 left in the second.

However, Cumberland quickly evened the ledger as it returned two fumbles for touchdowns. Jace Capps scooped up a fumble and returned it 53 yards for a score, and Justin Brown rumbled 55 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-all with 6:30 left in the half.

Both teams added a touchdown before the half to make it 21-all at the break.


Tyler Toombs recorded his seventh career 100-yard receiving game, hauling in six passes for 119 yards and two scores. He hauled in a 72-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 28-all with 12:18 to play in the fourth.


Both teams turned the ball over a total of four times. Union fumbled twice and had two passes intercepted, while Cumberland fumbled the ball away four times. Both teams cashed the turnovers in for a total of 14 points.


This was the first overtime game for the Bulldogs since 2011 when it lost 95-89 in triple overtime at Faulkner University.

Union is now 2-6 all-time in overtime.

Bradley Elkins set a school record for the longest punt, launching a 78-yarder. Brendon Miller set the previous record when he booted a 74-yard in a game against Georgetown College in 1991. Elkins finished the day with 50.7 yards per punt.

Riettie became the ninth player in program history to amass 1,500 yards as he gained 70 on 20 carries. He now has 1,520 career rushing yards.

Anthony Kelsey had a big day defensively, recording 13 total tackles and two fumble recoveries. He also had one tackle for a loss and broke up one pass.

Dallas Baxter notched double-double tackles, ending the day with 10.

Kendrick Furness threw for a career-high 253 yards on 21-of-34 passing with three touchdowns.

The Cumberland proved to be stout, racking nine sacks on the day. Aaron White led the way with 3.0 with Justin Brown adding 2.0.


Union gets a week off before returning to the field to take on Faulkner in Montgomery, Alabama, on Sept. 15. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.