MCKENZIE, Tenn.—Cumberland gave No. 10 Bethel all they wanted in the first half, but the Wildcats scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to escape and get the win, 24-7, on their homecoming.
The Phoenix (3-4, 1-3 MSC) did everything right in the first 30 minutes, dominating the time of possession and forcing two turnovers to take a 7-0 lead at the break. Unfortunately, Bethel made some adjustments and flipped the script in the second half to pull away.
Cumberland defense held the second-best scoring offense in the country to just 24 points. The Wildcats did put up 383 yards offense with 247 in the air and 136 on the ground.
Quarterback Joaquin Collazo III completed 26-of-31 for 247 passing yards, two touchdowns and a pick. JD Dixon caught nine passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. Former Phoenix Jaylen Taylor caught six passes for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Cumberland running back Treylon Sheppard surpasses 3,000 career rushing yards on the season running for 77 yards in the game. He is the only Cumberland player since the program restarted in 1990 to eclipse 3,000 yards.
Luke Holloway completed 6-of-12 passes for 75 yards with one interception finding four different receivers in the game.