BLUEFIELD, Va. – Three consecutive second-half touchdowns broke open a halftime tie and led the University of Pikeville to a 42-28 win over a game Bluefield College on Saturday at Mitchell Stadium.
The Bears are now 2-0 in season openers under Coach Dudley Hilton, and 2-0 all-time in August after playing their earliest regular-season contest since the program began play in 2001. The Bears are now 7-5 in their first games of the season.
The Rams, playing their first football game since November 20, 1941, experienced a lot of success in the first half on the ground. That led to the first score of the game – an 11-yard pass from junior quarterback Greg Hampton to freshman tight end Matt Hollandsworth – to give the Rams a 7-0 lead with 3:03left in the opening period.
The Bears tied it on the first play of the second when Senior Trevor Hoskins hit junior Jordan Amis from 57 yards out. The career leaders in those categories, the duo set the stage for Grayson Quick to tie the game with an extra-point. Less than two minutes later, junior Jeremy Hill gave the Bears their first lead of the season when he returned a punt 38 yards for a 14-7 lead.
The Rams weren’t quite ready to die, however, and when Hampton found freshman Rodrell Smith from 33 yards out with 9:49 left in the half, the game was even at 14.
The teams traded scores one more time before recess. Pikeville got its touchdown on an 80 yard interception return by sophomore trey Bartlett, while Josh Wells scored on a seven-yard run for the Rams to send the teams to the break deadlocked at 21.
The Bears, however, took control in the second half. After a perfectly-executed fake punt by sophomore Jared Harris, the Bears took the lead for good when Hoskins hit sophomore Shawntez Johnson, who broke a tackle and eluded the help to go 40 yards for a score. Set up by a big third-down sack by senior Chris Watson, the Bears took a 35-21 lead with 43 seconds left on a one-yard run by sophomore Seth Millar.
Pikeville got the ball back early in the fourth and kept it on the ground, slowly moving downfield on the ground on a drive that ended with a one-yard score by junior Hunter Adams to make it 42-21 with 6:55 left.
The Rams scored the final points of the game when Hampton hit Smith for their second scoring strike of the day, this time from 16 yards out.
Pikeville (1-0) will play at Campbellsville on Saturday, Sept, 1, in a 6 p.m. The Rams will remain home to face No. 4 Georgetown College next Saturday at 1 p.m.