Reinhardt University Eagles (4-0) vs University of Pikeville Bears (2-3)
Ken White Field Waleska, Ga
Written By: Lauren Mullinax and Malcolm Anderson
In back-to-back weeks, the Reinhardt Eagles have been down heading into the fourth quarter and come back to win. This past week against the University of Pikeville, the Eagles trailed the entire game until only 1:32 remained when they scored to defeat the Bears 32-28. Thanks to great effort on both sides of the ball, Reinhardt was able to keep its season perfect and new head coach Drew Cronic undefeated in his premiere season.
When the Eagles Had the Ball
The Eagles struggled to get in a groove early on causing them trail the Bears 21-0 in the first two quarters. It was not until a mishap by Pikeville on special teams that Reinhardt found its momentum offensively. On a fourth down situation punter Nick Marquez punted a ball that was muffed by Pikeville’s return team, giving the Eagles the ball on the two-yard line. After handing the ball off to running back Niagel Curtis, Reinhardt was finally on the board. The defense for the Eagles would force a three and out giving the ball back to Reinhardt. After a few plays, quarterback Ryan Thompson connected with wide receiver Aaron Kennedy to pull the Eagles within nine points of the Bears. Forcing another three and out, Reinhardt was able to score again with minutes remaining in the first half off a Deonte Dennis 29 yard run to send the Eagles into halftime only down two at 21-19. Reinhardt would not score again until the fourth quarter. After Pikeville scored in the third, Curtis would find the end zone again for his second touchdown on the day pulling Reinhardt within four points at 28-26 with just over five minutes remaining. After a turnover on downs by the Bears, Reinhardt was able to get the ball back with 3:23 left in the game still trailing by four. After a drive down the field, needing a touchdown to win the game, Curtis punched in his third touchdown on the day and gave the Eagles the lead to win.
Coming into the game the University of Pikeville seemed to have the answer to Reinhardt’s powerful offense, and the Bears did not allow a point until the second quarter. The Bears ended up surrendering 467 total yards on 78 plays, 318 rushing yards and 149 passing. Pikeville maintained the lead from the beginning of the game until there was just over a minute left in the fourth quarter while holding the Eagles to just under 50% on third down and a non-existent conversion percentage on fourth down. The Bears defense was led by defensive end Nick Steff with one sack and linebacker Matthew Robinson with 13 total tackles on the day.
When the Bears Had the Ball
Giving up twenty-one points early, Reinhardt’s defense came up big whenever they needed it the most. During the second half, Reinhardt forced the Bears to several three and outs that allowed the offense for the Eagles to keep the momentum they needed to make the comeback. On the very last play of the game, Reinhardt had to defend a wild Hail-Mary pass that was thrown into the end zone. Reinhardt’s defense was able to bat down the ball and help their team stay perfect.
The Bears came out of the gate with a 21-point lead starting with the second play of the game an 81-yard pass from quarterback Sani Warren to tight end Jamon Langford.After halftime the Bears offense sputtered with only one second half touchdown, that coming in the third quarter. Pikeville had a total of 527 yards that was evenly shared between the ground and air. Quarterback Sani Warren led the team with 3 passing touchdowns on 291 yards while completing over 50% of his passes while tight end Jamon Langford recorded 187 of those yards in addition to two out of the 3 passing touchdowns. Running back Quan Weaver led the team with 135 rushing yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
Keys to the Game
Reinhardt was able to run the ball, as well as use its air attack effectively against the Bears. Although they struggled early on, the Eagles did not give up.
The Bears actually held more possession time and had more offensive yardage than the Eagles, but thanks to the Eagles defense they were able to stop the Bears whenever Reinhardt needed it the most.
The Sports Studies crew has a prediction record of 4-0.
On Saturday October 3, 2015, the Eagles will travel to Bluefield, Virginia where they will take on the Bluefield Rams. Kickoff is set for 1:30pm EST out of Mitchell Stadium in Virginia.