LEBANON, TN (blazers.belhaven.edu) – The Belhaven University Blazers
football team dropped its Mid-South Conference West Division opener to
No. 21 Cumberland University Saturday afternoon, falling to the Bulldogs
The Blazers (2-2, 0-1 MSC-West) turned the ball over seven times in the game, including five interceptions, a large part of Belhaven's struggles, despite trailing only 14-3 at the half.
Belhaven threw two first half interceptions, both of which came inside the Cumberland (2-1, 1-0 MSC-West) 5-yard line, ending promising drives for the Blazers with no points. Cumberland responded with a 93-yard drive for a touchdown on the first turnover.
Cumberland then took a fumble recovery and turned it into a 41-yard touchdown drive to go up 14-0.
The Blazers answered with a scoring drive of their own on the next drive, as Alonso Acosta kicked a 23-yard field goal.
Belhaven had an opportunity as time expired in the first half to make a reasonable attempt at a scoring play, but Conner Preston was sacked and did not return in the second half. Preston threw for 236 yards in the first half, completing 30 of 42 attempts through the air.
In the second half, Belhaven had four more turnovers and the Bulldogs capitalized, turning the three interceptions and a fumble recovery into 17 points, helping Cumberland to a 41-3 lead.
Belhaven was able to sustain a long scoring drive of 92 yards early in the fourth quarter and Kasey Akins capped off the drive with a 22-yard catch and run from a Mickey Forrest pass to give the Blazers their only touchdown of the game.
Akins finished with seven receptions for 43 yards.
Forrest finished 24 of 33 passing in his first major action this season, throwing for 194 yards and the one touchdown. The Blazers combined for 430 yards passing in the game.
Greg Livingston had 13 receptions for 108 yards in the game. Lamiquell Roberts also had nine receptions for 96 yards.
Alvin Vaughn led the Blazers in tackles on defense for the third straight contest, combining on 13 total tackles with three solo. He also had one tackle for a loss.
Gregory Goree had 2.5 tackles for a loss in the game and also had a pass break up.
The Blazers five interceptions thrown broke the record in a single game, shich stood at four interceptions against Millsaps in 2009.
Belhaven will look to rebound as the Blazers return home for a contest against Campbellsville slated for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff at H.T. Newell Field.
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