PIKEVILLE, Ky. — Two program records fell and one was tied as the University of Pikeville football team got all over visiting Kentucky Christian 70-28 on Saturday at the Hambley Athletic Complex.
The 70 points scored are the most for UPIKE (1-2) since tallying 63 against Southern Virginia in 2011. Romon Morris tied a program record with three interceptions in a game and broke a record when he returned a pick 100 yards for a touchdown. It was one of two pick six’s on the day for the senior out of Louisville.
Including Morris’ two touchdowns and Taeron Brown returning an interception 36 yards for a score in the third quarter, the Bears’ defense ended up accounting for 21 points itself.
This one was a 14-7 game midway through the second quarter, but 14 unanswered points on a Morris pick and Arites Clark 4-yard catch gave UPIKE a 28-7 cushion at the half. KCU (0-4) had a great first drive in the second half, going 93 yards on seven plays for a score, but that also prompted a 28-0 spurt by the Bears that the Knights never recovered from.
KCU would go on to add two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it never got closer than 35 points on either of them.
After punting on its opening drive of the second half, UPIKE went on to score touchdowns on its next six drives.
Jordan Owens’ 16-yard haul from Sani Warren made it 35-14 with 7:04 left in the third, then Brown delivered a crushing blow when he picked off Jakwon Roberts less than a minute later and took it to the house for a 42-14 lead. To make matters worse, the Bears recovered the ensuing kickoff and went 30 yards on five plays for Xondre Willis to rush in and push the lead to 35 points.
If all of that wasn’t enough to discourage KCU, it continued to spiral out of control on them when Morris picked off Roberts in the end zone on the next drive and took it 100 yards for six. It nearly looked like his knee was down five yards deep in the end zone, but he made a quick pivot to circle a pair of defenders and the foot race was on.
Now up 56-14, UPIKE and the Knights would score two more touchdowns each the rest of the way, but the end result was never in double. The Bears’ touchdowns came from Bowen Smith throwing to Jordan Owens 12 yards and Tellis Kennedy II rushing in for seven yards to make it 70-21.
KCU had more first downs than UPIKE at 25-22, but turned the ball over four times with three immediately leading to touchdowns. The Bears outgained KCU 460-378 in total offense, including a 211-7 advantage on the ground. The 460 yards were a season high.
Warren completed 19-of-28 passes for 228 yards with two touchdowns and an interception as Braxton Whitmore ended up as his top target, catching five passes for 41 yards. Owens had the best numbers though with four catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Owens came into the game with just three catches no touchdowns for his career.
For Warren, who completed passes to eight different receivers, it was his first touchdown passes of the season.
Willie McCould and Xondre Willis each ran the ball 12 times, gaining 93 and 82 yards, respectively. Willis matched a career high with two touchdowns and McCloud added one.
Camron Parsley had two sacks for the first time since 2015 to finish with a team-high six tackles. Brown and Sean Cook II chipped in with five stops each and Parsley, Brown and Nathan Pray all recorded a pass breakup.
Roberts finished 27-of-53 through the air for KCU, throwing for 371 yards and a touchdown with the four picks. He also rushed for two scores, but gained a net -2 yards on 10 carries after losing 27 yards on sacks. Kris Lewis ended up with 107 yards on six catches and Emmett Keyes and Harmand St. Hubert had eight tackles each to lead the Knights.
UPIKE stays at home next week, hosting Ave Maria (Fla.) at 7 p.m. ET in a rare Friday night game at the Hambley Athletic Complex after rescheduling the game two weeks ago.