Pikeville will make its second, and final, scheduled trip out of Kentucky today looking to shake a two-game losing streak.
But the 3-2 Bears will face a 2-2 Cumberland team looking to extend its own two-game win streak. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Nokes-Lasater Field.
“They’re big, fast,” Cumberland coach Donnie Suber said with a laugh about the Bears. “They have a couple of transfers.”
One of those transfers is fourth-year junior A.J. Graham, who began his collegiate career at Marshall, who has completed 71 of 114 passes for 933 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. Junior Reese Browning of Knoxville also plays and has 384 yards on 35-of-58 with two TDs and an INT.
But the name probably most familiar to Tennessee fans is junior receiver Nu’Keese Richardson, a former Vol, who has 15 catches for 194 yards. But Jordan Amis is Pikeville’s top scoring receiver with three TDs on 15 catches while Shawntez Johnson leads the Bears with 29 catches for 387 yards.
“Have a lot of speed on offense,” Suber said. “They run it pretty well, too.
“Defensively, they move around pretty good, too. They’re a multiple-front team. They run a 3-3 stack and some 4-3 stuff, too.”
Cumberland has bounced back from losses to Tennessee Tech and University of the Cumberlands to beat Belhaven and Bluefield.
“I don’t know if we’re on a roll or not,” Suber said. “We’re still kind of banged up. We’re still kind of young. But that’s no excuse. We got to go out and play and do what we’re supposed to do and run our assignments like we’re supposed to do it.
“We’ve had some lapses in that during the week this week. It hasn’t been a very good week of practice. But we’ll see if we can turn it around in the game on Saturday.”
On the injury front freshman cornerback Nytrells Ross separated his shoulder during the Bluefield game and is out for the year, possibly facing surgery, Suber said. Safety Grant Jones can see limited action despite a bad heel and a torn ligament in his foot. Offensive linemen Tucker Cathey and Dalton Burge are banged up but expected to play.
“We’re fairly healthy,” Suber said.