BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - On a day full of milestones, Union College ended its 11-game losing streak with a 21-14 decision over visiting Cumberland (Tenn.) University Saturday in Mid-South Conference interdivisional action.
Union (1-5 overall, 0-2 MSC East) had not tasted victory since winning 39-17 over Pikeville (Ky.) College on Sept. 30, 2006. The 11-game slide was the second longest streak in program history. Union had a 25-game losing streak that stretch through the 1998, 1999 and 2000 seasons.
During the win, three Union Bulldogs achieved milestones. Sophomore running back Terence Pollock (Orange Park, Fla.) rushed for 74 yards on 19 carries as he became the ninth player in program history to run for 1,000 yards in a career. Pollock now has 1,018 career rushing yards on 259 carries.
Senior wideout Shawn Kelly (Owenton, Ky.) became just the fourth player in program history to haul in 100 career passes as he caught six passes for 93 yards and one touchdown. The 5-foot-8, 175-pound receiver now has 103 career receptions for 1,188 yards.
However, it was senior quarterback Joey Waters (McDonough, Ga.) as he completed 22-of-36 passes for 358 yards and three scores as he became only the second player in program history to throw for more than 6,000 yards in a career. Waters now has 6,297 career passing yards and needs just 219 more to pass Lee Worley for first place on the all-time list.
After a scoreless first quarter, Union cracked the scoring column with 6:05 left in the half as Waters hit Kelly on a one-yard pass play. After James Hager's (Micanopy, Fla.) PAT, Union led 7-0 at the break. Union can thank its defense for setting up the score. Cumberland was driving and had the ball at the Union 9, but Josh Littleton (Waverly, Ga.) picked off a Matt Eads pass at the goal line and returned to Union's 33 to set up the scoring drive.
Cumberland (1-4 overall, 0-1 MSC West) tied the game by taking the opening kick of the second half and driving 61 yards in nine plays for a score. Dexter Elston capped the drive with a six-yard run, making it 7-7 with 11:15 on the clock.
Union then struck twice as Waters hooked up with P.J. Burrowes (Middlesboro, Ky.) on a pair of scoring passes the covered 31 and 34 yards, respectively. The first touchdown came at the 8:53 mark with the second coming with 44 seconds remaining in the third, lifting Union to a 21-7 advantage heading into the fourth.
Eads scored Cumberland's first fourth-quarter points of the year on a one-yard plunge, pulling the visitors within 21-14 with 12:49 to play.
Both teams had their chances down the stretch. Thanks to a 65-yard pass to Chris Collopy (Manchester, Ky.), Union had the ball at the Cumberland 5 with just over 11 minutes to play. Unable to punch the ball in for a touchdown, Union ended up turning the ball over on downs after the snap was fumbled on what would have been a 20-yard field goal attempt.
Cumberland had two more possessions in the fourth but was unable to get the ball past its own 33-yard line as Union held on for the victory.
Union dominated statistically, outgaining Cumberland 479-257 in total offense and maintaining possession for 35 minutes and 53 seconds.
Waters' 358 yards passing marked a career-high for the Union signal-caller, and his three touchdowns gives him 15 on the year and 54 for his career. Burrowes had a big day with four catches for 82 yards and two scores, while Ben Kelly (Owenton, Ky.) had four catches for 40 yards and Stephen Hunter (Pineville, Ky.) caught three balls for 33 yards. Waters shared the wealth fairly well as he hit seven different receivers in the game.
In addition to Pollock's 74 rushing yards, Antonio Drane (Louisville, Ky.) ran 35 yards on five carries.
Defensively, Marekus Smith (Lithonia, Ga.) had a career day as he made 17 total tackles with 2.5 going for a loss. Patrick O'Neal (Lula, Ga.) had 11 total tackles with one going for a loss.
Ralph Calhoun led Cumberland's ground attack with 51 yards on seven carries, while Eads had 44 yards on 12 carries. Eads completed just 8-of-19 passes for 94 yards with one interception. Vincent Way caught four passes for 57 yards.
Melvin Armstrong led Cumberland with 13 tackles with Freddie Hall and Matt Boles chipping in 12 and 10 tackles, respectively.
Union returns to action next Saturday when it plays host to Campbellsville (Ky.) University at 1:30 p.m.