Bethune-Cookman survived another scare Saturday en route to a 28-26 MEAC road win against North Carolina Central.
The Wildcats escaped with the victory when freshman Elliott Miller blocked Nigel Macauley’s 18-yard field goal attempt with 32 seconds left in the game after the Eagles had driven 92 yards to the one-yard line. It was Bethune-Cookman’s third victory this season by four points or less. The Wildcats previously beat Grambling State 56-53 and Lane 7-3. Bethune-Cookman led 7-6 at the half, but North Carolina Central scored three unanswered touchdowns for a 27-6 lead. Malcolm Bell scored on runs of one and four yards, and Dorrel McClain had a five-yard touchdown run as the Eagles surged to a comfortable lead with 2:52 left in the third quarter.
Bethune-Cookman responded with a vengeance and regained the lead by scoring three touchdowns in a five-minute bridging the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth. Quarterback– threw a pair of 29-yard touchdown passes to Jawill Davis and Michael Jones scored on a six-yard run with 10:50 left in the game to put the Wildcats ahead again.
“Momentum is a curious thing,” Bethune-Cookman coach Terry Sims said. “This game had plenty of it. We were able to score a few unanswered after they did it. It just went back and forth. And in the end, we had to make one last stop because they were fired up.’’
Williams led Bethune-Cookman’s offense with 248 passing yards. He also rushed for 72 yards. McClain led North Carolina Central 144 yards rushing.
N.C. A&T 45, Hampton 31 – The Aggies relied on their defense and special teams to withstand a second-half comeback for road victory in their MEAC opener. North Carolina (3-1, 1-0 MEAC) bolted to a 31-14 halftime lead before the Pirates (2-3, 1-2 MEAC) rallied in the third quarter. Quarterback David Watford connected with Rayshad Riddick on a 13-yard touchdown pass on Hampton’s first possession of the second half. The score capped a 10-play, 67-yard drive. The Pirates forced a turnover on North Carolina A&T’s first possession. They converted the miscue into a 35-yard field goal by Adam Brown that made the score 31-24 with six minutes remaining in the period.
Hampton struck quickly in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 31-all. Watford and wide receiver Twarn Mixson combined on a 48-yard pass play, and Mixson finished off the two-play drive with took a fake reverse and tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to SeQuan Gooding with 12:08 to play. The score remained deadlocked as the clocked wound down to under the six-minute mark and the Aggies forced Hampton to punt. Khris Gardin returned the kick 71 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Marcus Albert intercepted Watford’s pass on Hampton’s ensuing possession and returned the ball to the Pirates’ one-yard line. Aggies running back Tariq Cohen punched the ball into the end zone to seal the victory. It was the third touchdown of the game for Cohen, who rushed for 107 yards. Gardin returned for punts for 203 yards.
Grambling State 59, Jackson State 27 – Quarterback Johnathan Williams continued his aerial assault in the G-Men’s road SWAC victory. Williams passed for 327 yards and five touchdowns. Williams’ performance comes on the heels of a 429-yard, six-touchdown passing effort against Prairie View. Williams has thrown for at least 300 yards in three of his last four games. He had 296 yards against Alabama State, the only time that he didn’t top the 300-yard mark during that stretch of games. He has also thrown at least three touchdown passes in four consecutive games. Grambling (3-2, 3-0 SWAC) scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter against Jackson State (1-4, 1-2 SWAC) and turned a close game into a blowout as Jackson State’s defense allowed an opponent to score 50 or more points for the third time this season. The G-Men led 28-20 at the half. Jackson State quarterback La Montiez Ivy was brilliant in defeat. Ivy completed 40 of 58 passes for 490 yards and three touchdowns. However, Jackson State only rushed for 50 yards.
Savannah State 37, Florida A&M 27 – The Tigers snapped a 24-game overall losing streak and a 32-game MEAC losing streak with a home victory, their first of the season, as they defeated the Rattlers for the first time in school history. Savannah State (1-3, 1-1 MEAC) entered the game 0-7 all-time against Florida A&M (0-5, 0-2 MEAC) and hadn’t won a conference game since beating North Carolina Central 33-30 in 2011, the Tigers’ first season in the conference. Savannah State began the game by recovering an onside kick, which led to a 22-yard field goal. The surprise move spurred the Tigers to a 30-7 halftime lead. Florida A&M scored 10 straight points to start the third quarter, but the Rattlers lost a fumble that gave Savannah State a short field. The Tigers converted the turnover into a touchdown, taking just two plays to cap a17-yard scoring drive and doomed the Rattlers to a 0-5 for the second straight season. The Tigers controlled the contest with their running game. They gained 217 yards on the ground with Arshon Spaulding rushing for 91 and Joshua Berry chipping in with 89.
Furman 17, S. C. State 3
Norfolk State 15, Howard 12
Morgan State 26, Delaware State 6
Ala. State 41, Texas Southern 23
Alcorn State 61, Ark.-Pine Bluff 14
Coastal Carolina 55, Ala. A&M 0
Jacksonville State 49, Miss. Valley State 7
Prairie View A&M 42, University of Faith 0
Bloomsburg 63, Cheyney 0
Bowie State 34, Johnson C. Smith 21
Chowan 27, Winston-Salem State 24
Elizabeth City State 41, Livingstone 6
Fayetteville State 49, Lincoln (Pa.) 17
Va. State 24, Saint Augustine’s 0
Virginia Union 22, Shaw 13
Albany State 29, Miles 16
Alderson Broaddus 27, Fort Valley State 20
Kentucky State 32, Benedict 19
Kentucky Wesleyan 35, Central State 7
Morehouse 23, Clark Atlanta 13
UNC-Pembroke 29, Tuskegee 17
Stillman 29, Lane 17
Ave Maria 11, Concordia-Selma 00
McMurray 34, Lincoln (Mo.) 14
SW Assemblies of God 49, Texas College 10
West Va. State 52, Va.-Wise 45