Faulkner falls to Pikeville on the road

The Faulkner Eagles
The Faulkner Eagles(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 3:54 PM CDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSFA) - The Faulkner University Eagles were looking to bounce back from a week one loss on Saturday when they traveled up to Kentucky to face the University of Pikeville Bears. It was a hard-fought battle, but in the end, the Eagles weren’t able to capitalize late in the game and fell to the Bears by a score of 24-20.

After failing to find the endzone in week one, the Eagles showed their determination on the game’s opening drive, marching down the field 75 yards to score. The drive was capped off with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Nehemiah Broussard to Malik Murray.

The Faulkner defense held strong throughout the first quarter, not allowing Pikeville to get on the scoreboard. It wasn’t until the start of the second quarter that we saw points go up for the Bears when Jakob Headley nailed a 22-yard field goal.

The Eagle’s offense began to struggle and couldn’t put anything together on the following drive, and were forced to punt the ball back to Pikeville. Pikeville then went to the air on the ensuing drive and took the lead away from Faulkner when Lee Kirkland connected with Ben Henson for the first Bears touchdown of the day.

The Faulkner offense continued to struggle and was once again forced to punt the ball away on their next offensive possession. When they returned to the field, the Pikeville offense seemed to have found a hole in the Eagle defense and attacked the secondary again. The Bears moved 72 yards down the field through the air. Kirkland completed two passes of 25-plus yards and finished off the drive with a 4-yard pass to Henson for the wide receiver’s second receiving touchdown of the game.

Now down by 10, Faulkner sent the offense back on the field to try and close the gap. However, the drive stalled on the Pikeville 48, and the punt team returned to the field once again. It was at this point that Faulkner received a big break compliments of Pikeville. During the kick, a Pikeville defender received a running into the kicker penalty, which allowed the Eagle’s offense to return to the field.

The Eagles took advantage of the penalty and moved down the field into scoring range. The Bear’s defense held the Eagles out of the endzone and came up with a big sack in the red zone, forcing Faulkner to settle for a field goal.

In the final seconds of the first half, Faulkner once again found themselves in scoring position on the Pikeville 26-yard line. Broussard connected with Daimon Hitchcock for the game-tying score with eight seconds left on the clock, and the two teams headed into the half all tied up at 17.

Pikeville started the second half with the ball and a chance to regain the lead. On the fourth play of the drive, they did exactly that. Alex Sanders exploded for a 44-yard touchdown run, and the Bears were back in control.

Shortly after the start of the fourth quarter, the Eagles faced a third goal from the five and a chance to tie things back up. However, the Pikeville defense stood tall and stopped Jim Mays rushing attempt short at the three-yard line. Faulkner was then forced to settle for three points, cutting the lead down to four.

Late in the final quarter, the Faulkner defense came up with a huge fumble recovery that put the offense in position for the go ahead score. The Pikeville defense had other plans however. They held the Eagles offense to negative yardage and forced the Faulkner punt team onto the field with just over two minutes remaining in the game.

The Eagles got the ball back with four seconds remaining, but there wasn’t any magic in the tank, and Faulkner fell to 0-2.

Faulkner will be back in action next Saturday, September 23, for their home opener against Southeastern University at 1:30 p.m.

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