The No. 1 University of the Cumberlands Patriots were looking for the school’s first-ever national championship in football on Saturday in Rome, Ga.
But so was No. 2 Grand View (Iowa). And the Vikings (14-0) prevailed, winning the 2013 NAIA national championship game, 35-23, over Cumberlands (13-1) in front of more than 5,000 fans.
While this was the Cumberlands Patriots first national title appearance, it was Grand View’s first, too, in only the school’s sixth year with football as a sport.
(Speaking of the number six, this was the sixth and final time the NAIA National Championship game was played in Rome. For the next three years, the NAIA football title game will be played in Daytona Beach, Fla.)
Cumberlands freshman quarterback Adam Craig finished with 30 running attempts, totaling 94 yards. Craig also threw for just 60 yards on 5-of-11 passing. Craig also threw an interception.
Cumberlands rushed for a total of 309 yards.
Cumberlands running back D’Angelo Jordan gained 128 yards on the ground on 17 carries.
Cumberlands senior linebacker "West" Hazelhurst finished the game as the leading tackler. He had 17 tackels.
The Cumberlands gave up 429 total yards of offense.
"Getting here was our goal," Hazelhurst told the media after the game. "It didn't end the way we wanted, but it's been a great ride."
As a sports fan, you cannot ask for anything more. No. 1 versus No. 2 to decide it all.
Since we cover the Cumberlands here at WYMT-TV, it’s awesome to see UC head coach John Bland, who will be going into his ninth season as the Patriots coach next season, make it to the ultimate game, along with his seniors.
Despite the loss – remember only one team can win! – this is something every single player will remember for the rest of their lives.