Head Coach Tommy Spangler’s Take:
“I’m not sure we had come from behind in a while and for us to be able to do that tonight was pleasing. You have to give them a lot of credit. That’s a good football team. We made plays when we had to on both sides of the ball. We will look at the film but we are 2-2. It was the first time in a while that we had won back-to-back games so I’m excited. And again, that’s a good team that will probably make the playoffs in NAIA and make a run at it. I’m just excited for our kids.”
On his message to the team when trailing in the second half
“I told them to just keep hanging. I knew we could move the ball and we did. We ended up punching one in to go ahead but how about (Brett) Norton’s field goal? That’s was a bomb and probably would have been good from a lot longer. I had a feeling and he told me that he could make it and he drilled it to tie the game. Then we got DaShawn’s unbelievable run there at the end to put us ahead. We said all week that this would be a tough game and we would have to win it in the fourth quarter and I think our kids bought in to that.”
How It Happened
PC got on the board first for the first time this season, scoring on its opening drive. The Blue Hose went 49 yards in 10 plays with Mark Robinson scoring his team-leading fourth touchdown of the season on a one-yard run to give the home team a 7-0 lead. Cumberland answered on its ensuing drive with a 15-play, 72-yard drive that eclipsed over 7:30 to tie the game on a three-yard run by Dezmon Huntley.
The rest of first half would go in favor of the Blue Hose. On its second possession of the game, PC put together another 10-play drive, this time going 76 yards, with Torrance Marable finding the endzone on an 11-yard pass from Ben Cheek to push the lead to 14-7. After a missed field goal attempt by Cumberland, PC went 10 plays again on its third possession, this time resulting in a 28-yard field goal by Brett Norton to make a 17-7 advantage.
Cumberland responded out of halftime, scoring on each of its first two possessions to take its first lead of the contest. A 21-yard touchdown run by Huntley and a six-yard touchdown run by Kendall Johnson put the Phoenix in front, 20-17. PC answered with a 12-play drive to tie the game on a career-long 47-yard field goal by Norton to make it 20-20 with 4:20 left in the third quarter.
The decisive score in the game wouldn’t come until late in the fourth quarter. After forcing a Cumberland punt, PC regained possession with 3:27 to play at its own 38-yard line. Marable opened the drive with a 13-yard run to put the ball in Cumberland territory at the 49. DaShawn Davis would take it from there, taking the ball on the sweep and going 49 yards for the score to put the Blue Hose in front, 27-20. PC closed the game out thanks in part to a forced fumble by Nick Moss and a punt by Brett Norton downed at the one-yard line.
The victory gave the Blue Hose back-to-back wins for the first time since 2014, when PC topped Charleston Southern and Monmouth in consecutive weeks.
Torrance Marable went over the century mark for the second time this season, rushing for 139 yards on 23 carries for an average of 5.8 yards per carry. The rookie also hauled in two passes for 22 yards and a touchdown, his third score of the season. Marable leads PC on the ground this season with 449 yards through four games, an average of 112.3 yards per game. He sits second on the team in touchdowns behind fellow freshman running back Mark Robinson.
Grant Beidel once again led the defense, totaling a game-high 15 tackles, including 1.0 tackle for loss. It was the second time this season surpassing 10 tackles for the Blue Hose senior linebacker. He leads the team on the season with 46 tackles through four games, including a team-high 3.5 tackles for loss.
- PC totaled 386 yards of total offense in tonight’s win, the most by the Blue Hose since totaling 415 yards against Monmouth in 2014, an 18-12 PC victory.
- Ben Cheek was outstanding on the night, completing 14-of-15 passes for a career-high 148 yards and one touchdown in the win. The redshirt junior was perfect in the opening half, going 8-for-8 for 104 yards. He also rushed for 56 yards on 15 carries to give him 204 yards of total offense on the night, just shy of a career-high.
- DaShawn Davis scored the decisive touchdown in the contest with a 49-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. It was the first career rushing touchdown for the wideout and was also the longest run of his career. Davis also lead all receivers on the night with four receptions for a season-high 69 yards.
- Mark Robinson scored his team-leading fourth touchdown of the season in the first quarter, a one-yard touchdown run on PC’s opening drive. The freshman has scored in three of the team’s first four games. His four scores are already the most by a PC player in a season since 2015 when Darrell Bridges scored eight touchdowns.
- Brett Norton made his first two field goal attempts of the season in the game. The junior connected on a 28-yard attempt in the second quarter, before nailing a career-long 47-yarder in the third quarter to tie the game at the time. He was a perfect 3-for-3 on extra points to give him a team-high nine points in the victory. His final punt of the game, a 32-yarder, pinned Cumberland at its own one-yard line on its final drive of the game, helping the Blue Hose defense close it out for the win.
- PC was 4-for-4 in the red zone tonight, converting each opportunity for the first time this season.
- Nick Moss tallied 11 tackles and forced a fumble in the victory. It was the first double-digit tackle game of the season for the sophomore.
- Elijah Turner made his first career start at safety, totaling a career-high seven tackles in the win. It is the third straight game that Turner has eclipsed his previous career high.
- Michael Branch recorded six tackles and a fumble recovery in the win. Gyasi Yeldell added seven tackles, including 0.5 tackle for loss, while Joey Junius had six tackles, including 0.5 tackle for loss.
PC continues its seven-game homestand next Saturday with Upstate foe and top-10 ranked Wofford coming to Clinton in the final night game of the season for PC. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. with the game being shown on the Big South Network.