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Thomas More plays host to Cumberland (Tenn.) on Saturday afternoon in Mid-South Conference clash

NKyTribune staff

Now that they’ve claimed their first-ever victory in the NAIA, a convincing 38-14 triumph at St. Thomas (Fla.) on Saturday, the Thomas More Saints can focus on another type of milestone — their first win in the Mid-South Conference.

Thomas More gets that opportunity at 1:30 p.m. Saturday when Cumberland (Tenn.) visits BB&T Field for a Mid-South Conference Bluegrass Division clash with the Saints. Cumberland is 1-0 after holding on for a 14-6 win over Cincinnati Christian last Saturday in Lebanon, Tenn.

Cumberland churned out 303 yards of total offense, including 253 yards on the ground. Telvin Rucker carried the ball 19 times for 75 yards and scored both Phoenix touchdowns. Treylon Sheppard added 79 yards rushing on 14 carries, while Kris Parker finished with 55 yards on the ground.

Thomas More’s Monalo Caldwell has gained a team-leading 167 yards on the ground (5.1 yards per carry) and scored three touchdowns this season. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Cumberland’s defense limited Cincinnati Christian to just 54 yards on the ground and 161 total yards. The Phoenix also recorded three interceptions and finished with a 21-13 edge in first downs.

In Thomas More’s road victory at St. Thomas, running back Monalo Caldwell rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas More (1-1) jumped out to a 7-0 lead at the 7:30 mark of the first quarter when Dillon Powell rushed for a 6-yard touchdown.

With less than a minute remaining in the opening quarter, Thomas More’s Ky Jones intercepted a Jordan Sepulveda pass and returned it 91 yards for a touchdown, giving the visitors a 14-0 advantage. The Saints extended their lead to 21-0 midway through the second quarter when quarterback Justin Post found receiver Mitchell Hogue for a 4-yard scoring pass.

Thomas More capped the first half with a field goal from kicker Alexander Haley as time expired to take a 24-0 advantage and coasted to the win. Haley earned Mid-South Conference Bluegrass Division Special Teams Player of the Week accolades after converting five extra points and a field goal in the victory.

Post has completed 33 passes in 64 attempts for 545 yards and six touchdowns in the first two games. Caldwell has gained a team-leading 167 yards on the ground (5.1 yards per carry) and scored three touchdowns.

Hogue has caught 12 passes for 141 yards, while Johnny McNally has eight receptions for a team-leading 178 yards.

The Thomas More defense limited St. Thomas to just 81 yards on the ground last week. Ryan Stofko paced the defense with nine tackles, while teammate Peyton Van Horn added eight tackles.

This will mark the first-ever meeting between Thomas More and Cumberland on the football field.

(Information compiled from Thomas More, Cumberland and staff reports)

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