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MSC Football: No. 17 Campbellsville - 70. No. 7 Reinhardt - 56
Campbellsville football rallies to shatter records and repeats as Mid-South Conference West Division champions before hometown crowd of 1,000 at Finley Stadium.
See also: Campbellsville University football records broken in 2015. Click on headline for complete story with photo.
By Jordan Alves, CU sports information director
CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY (Sat 7 Nov 2015) - Campbellsville flipped a 28-7 first-half deficit and went on a 42-7 run to finish with a 70-58 upset over No. 7 Reinhardt University today in the NAIA Game of the Week. They repeat as Mid-South Conference West Division champions.
The NAIA Game of the Week came to Campbellsville University's Finley Stadium and the product on the field didn't disappoint. The Tigers won their eighth straight game and fourth MSC title in style, putting up a program-record 70 points. The most points before today was 69 against Bethel University earlier in the season and the most at Finley Stadium was 64 against Kentucky Wesleyan in 2000.
Reinhardt suffers its first loss of the season and falls to 8-1 overall and 3-1 inside the MSC West. Campbellsville improves to 8-2 overall and finishes with an unblemished record in conference play at 5-0. The Tigers have now won eight straight games for the first time since 1991.
The reigning MSC, NCCAA and NAIA Player of the Week, Jacob Russell, finished with 446 yards on 29-of-49 passing and seven touchdowns. He added another score on the ground and finished with 26 yards rushing for a total of 472 yards and eight total touchdowns - all three are program single-season records. The reigning MSC and NAIA Special Teams Player of the Week, Will Ward, hit 10 PATs for a new single-game record as well. He also surpassed Donnie Johnson for the most PATs made in a single season with 55. Also, Jarrod Harrington finished with 252 all-purpose yards to surpass Greg "Boomer" Fountain's single-season mark with now 1,901 yards.
Campbellsville put up 691 total yards with 446 coming through the air. Reinhardt finished with 532 yards with 319 coming on the ground. Niagel Curtis led the Eagles with five rushing touchdowns - the second consecutive game for Curtis to rush for five TDs.
Reinhardt (8-1, 3-1 MSC West) dominated the first quarter but Campbellsville gave the Eagles a little taste of their own medicine. After Reinhardt took a 28-7 lead in the opening quarter, the Tigers went on a 42-7 run and held Reinhardt scoreless in the third quarter to take a 49-35 lead entering the fourth.
In the final period, there was a combined 42 points between both schools. Reinhardt's Sam Jones started the scoring for his lone touchdown -- a 22-yard rush up the middle - to cut the CU lead to just seven.
Campbellsville answered with its second 70-plus yard strike of the day, as Russell found Tyus Alcorn for their second hookup. Alcorn made a defender miss and tight-roped the sideline to scamper 71 yards to put CU ahead, 56-42. Alcorn finished with 120 yards on five catches and two touchdowns. That score started a span of four TDs in only three-plus minutes of play.
Curtis ran for his fifth touchdown of the day from 19-yards out but CU answered with another long scoring play. AJ Strong found a seam up the middle and broke 65 yards for his lone touchdown. Strong finished with a a career-high 187 yards on the ground.
Reinhardt answered just 33 seconds later with a Deonte Dennis 8-yard TD run to cut the lead to 63-56 with 8:25 remaining. But that was all Reinhardt would be able to muster offensively.
Campbellsville sealed the victory with just over three minutes remaining. Curtis fumbled with 3:04 left and Stephon Tanga jumped on the ball to let the Tigers sniff a little bit of victory.
Reinhardt turned the ball over a season-high four times today and Campbellsville was able to capitalize with seven points off those turnovers but that one score was the dagger.
Russell hit Harrington on a 35-yard strike across the middle to break the all-time program scoring record and seal the MSC Championship.
Campbellsville finished with an unblemished record in conference play at 5-0 and will now wait for its NAIA Playoff matchup. The playoffs are scheduled to start on Saturday, Nov. 21 after the regular season concludes next week.
This story was posted on 2015-11-08 03:59:02
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