Dukes fall 56-6 to visiting Cavaliers

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Cumberland County High School’s varsity football team knew coming into its homecoming showdown Friday with visiting Chatham High School that the Cavaliers liked to pass. They were able to execute well through the air, earning their first win of the year by topping the Dukes 56-6.

“They passed the ball for I don’t even know how many yards, but we got beat deep quite a few times in the first half, and once we got down 21-0, we had a hard time coming back,” Dukes Head Coach Jamaal Artis said. “For some reason, I don’t know what happened, but the last couple weeks, we’ve had a hard time passing the ball. So when you’ve got to grind it out, grind it out, you’re down … 28-0 at halftime, (it’s) kind of hard to come back.”

Cumberland got on the scoreboard with eight minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter when senior fullback K.J. Copeland ran for an approximately seven-yard touchdown.

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Copeland finished the game with a team-high 90 yards on offense after carrying the ball 12 times. Sophomore tailback Vincent Harris Jr. had 10 carries for 51 yards.

The Dukes (0-7) had to move on quickly because they were set to visit Buckingham County High School (3-4) on Tuesday, a compressed schedule that came about due to Tropical Storm Michael’s recent impact in the area.

Artis affirmed right after Friday’s game that he was wishing he had more time to reflect on it and was also glad to swiftly move to the next game.

“It’s just a struggle,” he said. “We had an excellent week of practice. I think it was our best week of practice all year, and we just came out flat.”

Cumberland’s struggles passing the ball led to a lot of third-and-long situations.

“We played both quarterbacks tonight to try to give us an answer, and neither one of them really were efficient passing the ball,” Artis said. “I know both of them threw interceptions and both of them had fumbles.”

On three day’s rest, Cumberland is set to host Bluestone High School on Friday at 7 p.m.