Hard Fought Game with Reinhardt Ends Disappointingly
On Saturday, Sept. 14, the KCU Football Knights hosted Reinhardt University of Waleska, Ga, a first year varsity football team that is off to a very strong start. Reinhardt entered the game with an 0-2 record, but having lost both games by a total of only 8 points. With KCU having several key personnel out with injuries, including quarterback Graham Johnson, out indefinitely after breaking a bone in his foot last week. The Knights were also still missing Jabriel Siler, senior Defensive Back out for the last couple of weeks with a wrist injury.
After the opening kick-off, the teams traded opening drives that didn't go very far, but then Reinhardt began moving the ball a little. They scored first on a 79-yard running gain with 8:34 to go in the first quarter. KCU tied it up at 7-7 when Jamuel Jones carried it in from 8 yards out with just over 6 minutes remaining in the half. The next score in the game came in the 4th quarter, on a short run by Reinhardt's Deonte Dennis, but RU missed the PAT. Less than 4 minutes later, Shaun Jones connected with Lane Knost on a 14-yard touchdown pass. When Drew Slikker converted the PAT, KCU found themselves up 14-13, with just over 2 minutes to play. But a poorly-struck kick, and an aggressive run by the Reinhardt kick return crew gave the Eagles the ball on their own 47 yard line. After a 7 plays, two of which included major penalties, Reinhardt had the ball on the KCU 1-yard line. Twice the Knights turned away the Eagles, and with 22 seconds on the clock, RU called time-out and considered their options. The elected to sweep the right end, and LJ Stegall was just able to get the ball over the goal-line before being run out of bounds by the KCU defensive pursuit. Again KCU held the PAT, and got the ball after the kick-off with 15 seconds and over 50 yards to go. After two plays, the horn sounded, and KCU was handed another defeat.
KCU's Jamuel Jones had 72 yards on 22 carries, while Freshman Jakarious Crittenden added 45 yards on 5 carries. Shaun Jones connected on 13 of 26 throws for 82 yards, and was intercepted once. Marcus Hicks pulled down 6 catches for 29 yards, while Lane Knost had 3 catches worth 27 yards, including the touchdown. Senior Defensive Back Jemichael Williams led the KCU defensive with 9 solo and 5 assisted tackles. Andrew Stewart had 6 and 5, respectively.
The Knights had 18 first downs, in comparison to Reinhardt's 16, but lost the yardage tally with 262 total yards compared to Reinhardt's 333. Both teams were penalized 11 times, with Reinhardt losing more ground, while KCU possessed the ball for 35:26, while RU had it only 24:30.
From a statistical standpoint, KCU did most of what it needed to do to win the game. But it is not the statistics that decide the winner, it is the scoreboard. And today, the scoreboard was not in our favor. Next week, the Knights travel to Bluefield, VA, to take on the Rams of Bluefield College. They are 0-2 thus far on the year.