Bethune-Cookman pounded North Carolina Central into submission with a relentless running game Saturday as the Wildcats posted a 34-20 come-from-behind home victory. The victory keeps the Wildcats (7-2, 4-1 MEAC) in the middle of a logjam with four other teams for the top spot in the conference. South Carolina State, North Carolina A&T, Morgan State and Norfolk State each has only one conference loss also.
Bethune-Cookman rushed for 334 yards as running back Michael D. Jones (117) and quarterback Larry Brihm (109) each topped the 100-yard mark. Jones had 43-yard touchdown run and Brihm scored on a six-yard run. However, Anthony Jordan was the hero for the Wildcats. Jordan scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter after North Carolina Central (4-5, 3-2 MEAC) led 20-13 after three periods. Jordan ran for 61 yards.
Quarterback Quentin Williams gave the Wildcats a fourth runner with at least 50 rushing yards. Williams ran the ball for 57 yards. Andre Clark scored on a four-yard run with 7:32 left in the third quarter to put the Eagles ahead 20-13.
The touchdown, Clark’s second of the game, was set up by Adrian Wilkins’ 91-yard kickoff return. Jordan scored the first of his three touchdowns on a one-yard run with 13:50 left in the game to tie the game at 20-all. Jordan scored on another one-yard run at the 3:09 mark, capping an 11-play, 77-yard drive, for a 27-20 Wildcat lead. Jordan iced the game with a 30-yard touchdown run with 1:13 after Bethune-Cookman forced the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs.
Bethune-Cookman’s defense, No. 2 in the FCS in fewest total yards allowed, was the catalyst for the fourth-quarter comeback. The Wildcats held North Carolina Central to just eight yards in the final period. The Eagles only had 200 total yards for the game, about half their average for the season.
“They are a big-play offense,” Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins said. “We wanted to take the big plays away. (Wilkins) is one of the most explosive players in the country on any level, and their running backs run through tackles. We wanted to make sure we didn’t give them any second efforts or additional yards.”