Reinhardt Eagles (5-0) vs. Bluefield Rams (0-6)
Mitchell Stadium Bluefield, Virginia
Written By: Kraig Doremus and Ally Hurd
This weekend, the #13 Reinhardt Eagles broke a 14-14 tie with the Bluefield Rams by scoring 66 unanswered points, helping them to defeat the Rams 80-14. 80 points are the most Reinhardt has scored in a game in the program’s three-year history, breaking the record set in the 2015 season opener when the Eagles scored 73 points against Point University. Reinhardt becomes the fourth NAIA team to score at least 80 points in a game this season. With the win, the Eagles improved their record to 5-0, while the Rams of Bluefield fell to 0-6.
When the Eagles Had the Ball
Against Bluefield, Reinhardt ran for an NAIA high 520 yards, led by running back Niagel Curtis who ran for 116 yards on nine attempts. Curtis scored a game high three touchdowns, giving him nine rushing scores through five games. With his 116 yards, Curtis eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the second straight game. In addition to Curtis, six other running backs scored touchdowns for Reinhardt, including Deonte Dennis and Jonathan Abrams who had two scores each. Freshman Isaiah Blake was second in rushing yards for Reinhardt, finishing the game with 93 yards, just seven shy of the century mark. The Eagles scored 10 rushing touchdowns in the contest, the most by any NAIA school this season.
The rushing attack was Reinhardt’s primary way of moving the ball against Bluefield as 520 of their 568 yards came on the ground. Through the air, quarterbacks Johnathon Chamblee and Ryan Thompson combined to complete 4 of 6 passes for 38 yards.
After playing the Eagles to a 14-14 tie, the Bluefield defense could not stop the Reinhardt Eagle offense as the Rams gave up 66 straight points. BC surrendered 58 of 80 points to the Eagles in the final three quarters of the contest, with the 37 of those points coming in the second quarter.
The Bluefield defense allowed Reinhardt to convert 6 of 11 attempts on third down, as well as one attempt on fourth down. For the game, the Ram defense surrendered 27 first downs, with all but five of those coming via the Reinhardt Eagle rushing attack. Sophomore linebacker Carlton Toussaint led Bluefield with 10 tackles, including 8 unassisted.
When the Rams Had the Ball
The Reinhardt defense came out strong on the first drive and caused Bluefield to have a three and out forcing them to punt on their own twenty four yard line. The next two drives of the Bluefield offense were successful which both led to a Ram touchdowns, one being a run and the other a weak side screen play. Other than those small slip-ups, the Reinhardt defense was stout, creating a brick wall that the Rams could not get passed. The defense as a whole was consistent in doing its job throughout the entire game, but there were a few players who stood out. Casmir Isles, a sophomore outside linebacker, created the first take away when he read the exact same screen play that scored earlier in the game with an interception. Also, Jay Hollman had an interception and raced to the endzone for a pick six. Lastly, Javier Dyer and Tyler Pineda were credited for three sacks.
Despite scoring only 14 points, Bluefield managed to gain 328 yards of total offense on 78 plays. 229 yards came on the ground as running backs Adrian Pope and Marion Harris combined for 143 of those yards. Pope scored one touchdown on the ground, answering the Eagles first score of the game, while also catching a 73-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Cason Whitt. Whitt’s touchdown pass tied the game at 14 all midway through the first period, but from there the Bluefield offense failed to score again. On the day, the sophomore quarterback completed 4 of 9 passes, for 93 yards and one touchdown.
Keys to the Game
Reinhardt dominated the running game, outgaining Bluefield 520-229. The ten rushing touchdowns allowed the Eagles to defeat the Rams by a hefty margin and remain undefeated on the year. Reinhardt was able to get Niagel Curtis involved throughout the game as he ran for a game high in yards and touchdowns.
The Eagles defense contained the Ram’s talented running backs, Adrian Pope and Marion Harris. Pope ran for only 79 yards and one score, while Harris managed just 64 yards of his own.
The Sports Studies crew has a prediction record of 5-0.
The undefeated and 13th ranked Eagles will welcome the #10 Faulkner University Eagles to town. Faulkner is coming off a 59-50 loss against Campbellsville University. Kickoff is set for 12 noon EST from Ken White Field in Waleska, Georgia on Saturday, October 10, 2015.