Blake DeBoard carried 10 times for 79 yards and Reed Gurchiek had 12 rushes for 73 yards.
"There's no such thing as an ugly win in this conference," said CU head coach Dewayne Alexander. "We were our own worst enemy tonight, but give our guys credit -- they kept plugging away and we got out of here with a win."
Cumberland (3-1) held a 17-10 advantage at halftime and scored on the opening possession of the second half. A snap over Gurchieks head setup the Cavs with a short field and the home team pulled within 24-17 with 2:05 remaining in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs drove inside the Wise 10-yard line early in the final period but another bad snap ended the drove when the Cavs Eric White recovered the fumble. Another snap over Gurchieks head inside UVA-Wise territory forced a punt by the Bulldogs midway through the final quarter.
The Cumberland defense then stiffened twice in the final minutes, with Wise driving to the CU 14 before four straight incompletions by Culen LaVoi, including hurries by Nick Lennox and Tim McKee. The Bulldogs blitzed on fourth down and Josh Walker cut in front of the receiver, forcing a turnover on downs.Cumberland plays at the University of Pikeville next Saturday at 12:30 p.m. before hosting Union College on October 6 for Homecoming at Nokes-Lasater Field.