#20 Reinhardt Eagles (5-3) vs. Cumberland Bulldogs (5-3)
Ken White Stadium Waleska, GA
Saturday, November 9 2013
Kickoff @ 12:00 Noon
The Reinhardt Eagles play the final home game of the regular season Saturday when the Cumberland Bulldogs travel to north Georgia from Lebanon (TN). The 5-3 Eagles, a first-year program competing in the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA, are coming off a bye week and ranked #20 in national polls.
In Reinhardt’s last contest, they played #2 ranked University of the Cumberlands (KY) to the wire before losing a 28-24 thriller. RU stormed to a 24-7 lead after three quarters, but could not withstand a furious rally from the Patriots. QB Ryan Thompson threw for a season-high 262 yards, but the Eagles’ normally efficient ground game got shut down as leading rushers LJ Stegall and Niagel Curtis were limited to a total of 85 yards on 23 attempts with no touchdowns. Defensively, cornerback Nick Johnson made his first interception on the season for the Eagles, while linebackers AJ Thomas (10.5 tackles) and Blake Barnes (8 tackles) also starred.
Cumberland University enters the game off a 34-13 win over Bethel. The 5-3 Bulldogs prefer a ground-oriented attack. Dual purpose player Broc Loveless (who sees time at RB and QB) leads the squad with 531 yards rushing (7.1 ypc) and 11 touchdowns. QB Reed Gurchiek has thrown for 767 yards, but has only 3 TDs with 8 INTs. WR Michael Green is Gurchiek’s favorite target; he has 25 receptions on the season. Redshirt freshman LB Nathan Jernigan, while on the smallish size at 5’11 190, leads the defense with 54 total tackles.
Reinhardt can move a step closer to the West Division championship with a victory over Cumberland. RU closes out the season next week at division co-leader Campbellsville (KY). If both squads win this weekend, the game will be a showdown for a division title. It’s been a remarkable first season for head coach Danny Cronic (pictured) and the Reinhardt Eagles.
Kickoff is at noon Saturday in Waleska. If you are unable to make it to the game, please visit the Reinhardt Eagle athletic department website and listen along.
Contributors: The RU Athletics and Media Relations class of the Sport Studies Program developed this post (Carrie Blackwell, DeRoss Polhill, Heather Sherman, Kayla Smith, Ben Sparks, Caitlin Stevens, Quinton Wood, and Stuart Young)