By ADD SEYMOUR JR.
This was North Carolina Central's big chance.
The Eagles had a chance to move forward in a five-way, second-place MEAC conference tie that started the day Saturday with a win at Bethune-Cookman.
But Bethune-Cookman erased a 20-13 deficit midway through the third quarter on the legs of three, fourth-quarter Anthony Jordan touchdowns to defeat the Eagles 34-20.
The win puts Bethune-Cookman back into a first-place tie with North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State, Morgan State and Norfolk State, all who have 4-1 conference records. North Carolina Central drops to second at 3-2 in the MEAC.
“In the fourth quarter, we just couldn’t close out the game like we
needed to,” Eagles head coach Jerry Mack told the Daytona News Journal. “I thought the guys played
extremely hard, but we have to find a way to finish games in the fourth
The first two quarters were like a championship fight with Bethune-Cookman throwing the first blow on Larry Brihm's 6-yard touchdown run to go up 7-0. The counter punches came in the second quarter when North Carolina Central quarterback Malcolm Bell threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Quentin Atkinson, followed by Andre Clarke's 3-yard touchdown just before the half. Michael Jones pulled the Wildcats to within one on his 43-yard touchdown run. A two-point conversion attempt failed, leading Bethune-Cookman down 14-13.
The Eagles extended their lead to 20-13 midway through the third-quarter on Clarke's second TD run that was set up by Adrian Wilkins' 91-yard kickoff return.
And then the fourth-quarter onslaught began.
Jordan's first TD run, a one-yard plunge, came early in the final quarter. The Wildcats defense, which played well throughout the game, stiffened even more, forcing three North Carolina Central punts in the fourth quarter. Bethune-Cookman had an 11-yard, 77-yard drive that followed the last punt, capped by Jordan's second 1-yard TD run to go up 27-20 with 3:09 left.
Bethune-Cookman completely stopped North Carolina Central's offense on the next drive, giving up minus 8-yards on four plays. The Wildcats took over on downs with 1:26 left. Jordan rushed 30 yards for his third touchdown on the next play for the game's final score.
“It was a great victory. We played a tough football team,” Bethune-Cookman head coach Brian Jenkins told the Daytona News Journal.. “They took us to the max.”
Bethune-Cookman (7-2) visits fellow MEAC first-place team, Norfolk State Saturday while North Carolina Central (4-5) hosts Hampton.
Winston-Salem State 61, Shaw 10 (Rudy Johnson threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns while Maurice Lewis rushed for 155 yards and a TD to lead Winston-Salem State to their eighth win of the season. While the Rams piled up yardage (543 yards), the Rams defense shut down Shaw's Trey Folston, the CIAA's leading passer, allowing only six yards. The Bears only got 22 yards of total offense the entire game)
Johnson C. Smith 14, St. Augustine's 10 (
Bowie State 28, Lincoln (Pa) 7 (
Virginia Union 14, Elizabeth City State 7 (
Fayetteville State 31, Livingstone 28 (
Virginia State 40, Chowan 7 (
Grambling 35, Texas Southern 7 (The hottest team in HBCU football continues their roll as Grambling soundly defeated Texas Southern for their sixth straight win. The 6-3 G-Men were again led by Johnathan Williams' 197 yards and two touchdowns passing and 71 yards and one TD rushing. Aaron Breed had a monster game on defense with ten tackles, 3.5 sacks and four tackles for losses. The Grambling defense had eight sacks and an interception)
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 24, Mississippi Valley State 14 (
Alabama A&M 25, Jackson State 14 (
Southern 28, Alabama State 21 (Alabama State's losing streak continues (four straight losses after four straight wins) while Southern's win streak (four games) continues. Austin Howard's 9-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter broke a 21-21 tie and give Southern the win. Howard had 291 yards and two touchdowns passing along with his rushing touchdown. Malcolm Cyrus had his seventh 100-yard rushing
Albany State 40, Benedict 14 (
Clark Atlanta 34, Paine 0 (Homecoming day at Clark Atlanta should be a competitive football game between a good passing team in Paine and the SIAC's top rushing team in Clark Atlanta. Paine has the SIAC's best pass defense while CAU has the worst passing offense, so that's a wash. But CAU rusher Montavious Taylor is steady and has seven rushing TDs, tied for first in the conference. The defense that shows up (Paine is ranked fourth and CAU fifth in total defense) will likely determine this game)
Tuskegee 28, Central State 25 (
Kentucky State 47, Lane 14 (
Morehouse 24, Fort Valley State 21 (Morehouse erased three deficits to upset Fort Valley State on a cold night in Hotlanta. Down 19-18 late in the fourth quarter, Quarterback Monquavious Johnson's 44 yards rushing led the Maroon Tigers down field, culminating in a Shelton Hamilton touchdown to give Morehouse a 24-19 lead. Johnson fumbled the two-point try and FVSU's Aaron Davis returned it 98 yards for two points. Fort Valley State's potential game-winning drive ended with six seconds left when Morheouse's Jamil Irvin-Muh picked off a FVSU pass. The loss, plus Albany State's win, gives ASU the SIAC East title, even as the two teams play next week. Fort Valley State is now two games behind Albany State. Morehouse is third but needs a win next week over Kentucky State to hold that third place spot. A FVSU loss and Morehouse win would make them the runner-up in the race)
Miles 26, Stillman 22 (
Norfolk State 12, Florida A&M 10 (A dismal homecoming week after the abrupt firing of Rattlers head coach Earl Holmes ended sadly as Norfolk State's George Riddick stopped FAMU quarterback Damien Fleming on third down at the 1-yard line in the last seconds of the game. FAMU couldn't get another play off and ended the game a yard short from a win. The win keeps Norfolk State in a first-place tie in the MEAC race. FAMU is 2-3 over the last five games, though they've been competitive in losses to three of the MEAC's top teams)
Howard 17, Delaware State 10 (
Morgan State 38, Hampton 35 (
South Carolina State 59, Savannah State 7 (Savannah State remains winless
Eastern Kentucky 56, Tennessee State 42 (Tennessee State has lost five straight games, falling to one of the top teams in FCS football, Eastern Kentucky, which is now 8-1. The Colonels ran through the Ohio Valley Conference's top defense in Tennessee State as Dy'Shawn Mobley ran for 139 yards and three touchdowns. EKU only threw for 70 yards, but ran for 296. EKU quarterback Jared McClain did run for 139 yards and two touchdowns. TSU Quarterback Michael German threw for 326 yards and four touchdowns while Nick Thrasher had a career-high 17 tackles.)
West Chester 58, Cheyney 0 (
Notre Dame 41, West Virginia State 0 (
Langston 38, Panhandle State 17 (
Central Washington 17, Lincoln (Mo) 14 (