JACKSON, MS -- James McClain scored four touchdowns, two rushing and two receiving, and accounted for more than 300 all-purpose yards in Cumberland's 46-43 victory over Belhaven Saturday afternoon at Newell Field.
McClain, a freshman from Goodlettsville, caught 70 and 58 yard TD passes from Matt Eads and added touchdown runs of 18 and seven yards, helping the Bulldogs (4-4, 4-3 MSC) stay perfect (3-0) in the Western Division.
Travis Carter added 90 yards on the ground and Eads was 14-of-27 for 312 yards and the three scores, giving the senior 15 TD passes on the season. It was also his third 300-yard passing game of the season.
CU posted 509 yards of total offense and the defense picked off Belhaven three times, including a 51-yard return by Darius Johnson and a 31-yard return from Melvin Armstrong.
Armstrong's return for a touchdown tied the game at seven in the first quarter and Eads hit McClain from 70 yards out with three seconds to play in the opening period for a 14-7 CU lead. McClain's 18-yard TD run in the second quarter led to a 21-21 tie at halftime.
McClain and Eads hooked up from 58 yards late in the third period and McClain added his seven-yard score later in the quarter for a 33-28 advantage.
Eads hit Michael Moore with a 66-yard strike in the fourth quarter and Ervin Young added the final score for the Bulldogs, a five-yard rush with 7:23 to play that put CU ahead, 46-35.
"It was a very tough game. They were very athletic and there were a bunch of big plays by both teams," CU head coach Dewayne Alexander said. "We really had a tough day with our return teams, giving up big yardage and we had penalties on a lot of our returns.
"But we had a big day offensively with more than 300 yards passing and nearly 200 on the ground. Darius Johnson's interception in the last five minutes was big and Freddie Hall recovered a fumble after we punted at the very end of the game."
Quarterback Jerred Wallace completed 28 of 50 passes for 297 yards and three TDs with three interceptions for the Blazers (2-6, 1-2).
Cumberland begins a three-game homestand to end the year Saturday, Nov. 1 versus Shorter College at 1:30 p.m. at Lindsey Donnell Stadium.