Snyder throws for three TD's
LEBANON -- Nashville native Michael Green caught two touchdown passes and threw another while Cumberland's defense made just enough plays to hold off 11th-ranked Georgetown College in a 33-26 Bulldog victory in the season-opener Saturday, Sept. 5 at Nokes-Lasater Field.
"I have to give it to our kids," said CU head coach Donnie Suber.
"They played awesome football, our defense gave up a bunch of yards but we managed to keep 'em out of the endzone when we had to.
"We were thin in the secondary due to injury and it was tough. They guys hung in there as best they could. We didn't give up too many big plays. I'm so proud of 'em."
Redshirt junior Justin Snyder (Jonesborough) completed 20-of-28 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns, including 31- and 34-yarders to Green in the first half.
Green then threw a 58-yard scoring pass to Trevon Jones (Atlanta, GA) on a reverse on the opening play of the second half to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game.
"Snyder was recruited here as a Wing-T quarterback and through the transition to what we're doing now -- he's run the offense better than anybody.
"He's a competitor and a top-notch kid. He comes early and stays late. If we can give him a little breathing room he can make things happen."
Georgetown fumbled twice in the red zone, once at the one-yard line and then again at the CU11 in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers got one of those miscues back with an interception that turned into their final touchdown of the game, a four-yard run by Terry Johnson with 10:17 to play in the third period.
Cumberland answered that score with two more big plays, a theme of the game for the home team, with Snyder finding Brandon Byrd Riverview, FL) for 49 yards down the left sideline.
Three plays later he connected with tightend Brandon Mallory (Hermitage) over the middle and the senior rumbled 32 yards for the score and a 27-24 advantage.
The Bulldog defense held on fourth down at the CU12 late in the third period and again on the fourth play of the final quarter at the CU19. Georgetown punter Josh Depp had a tough day with a couple of very short punts, one covering just three yards, but a bad snap and a low line drive kick turned golden for him midway through the final stanza, rolling out of bounds at the one-yard line.
The Tigers tackled Joseph Rushin in the end zone for a safety two players later, pulling within 27-26, but Christopher Golden (Columbus, GA) forced a fumble at the CU17 after the free kick and DeAnthony Patrick (Nashville) recovered for Cumberland, his second recovery of the game.
Snyder rushed twice to get the Bulldogs just their third first down of the second half and then Byrd broke loose for a 71-yard touchdown scamper. The extra point was missed for the second time in the game, giving CU a 33-26 edge.
The teams continued trading punts in the fourth quarter and the CU defense held one final time thanks to a sacks from Nathan Jernigan (Eagleville) and Justus Dauscha (Murfreesboro) and a hurry from Cayman Russell (Hendersonville).
Cumberland finished with six sacks in the contest, two by Dauscha.
Georgetown quarterback Ozzie Mann finished 28-of-49 passing for 298 yards and two touchdowns while Johnson was the Tigers' leading rusher with 78 yards on seven attempts.
Cumberland plays at West Alabama on Thursday at 6 p.m. Central Time, the beginning of four straight road games for the Bulldogs.