BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Bethune-Cookman beat North Carolina Central University (NCCU) 42-17 in front of 5,738 fans on Senior Day to take sole possession of first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) this past week.
The Wildcats’ potent running game gained 274 of their total 443 yards.
“We got a good win against a good football team. Our offensive line and even our tight ends did a great job blocking,” said Head Coach Brian Jenkins.
Isidore Jackson led B-CU with 158 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
“We did a good job blocking as a team and all of our running backs are capable of getting it done,” responded Jackson.
The B-CU defense held the Eagles to 234 total yards and forcing three turnovers.
“The defensive coaches told me to calm down and that we would settle down. Great adjustments by our d-coordinator Yogi Jones and the defensive staff,” remarked Jenkins.
Leading the Wildcats defensive effort were Duwad Lane and Jarkevis Fields with 10 total tackles apiece.
“We have the bend but don’t break mentality. The coaches made good adjustments and put us in the right places,” answered Lane.
Big plays in fourth
North Carolina Central (5-3, 4-1) took a 17-14 lead in the third quarter after a 23-yard field goal by Oleg Parent.
“I think our defense holding them to three points was a big sequence. I think that is when we started to buckle down,” said Jenkins.
Bethune-Cookman (6-2, 5-0) responded with an eight-yard score by Rodney Scott to lead 21-17.
The Wildcats took a commanding 28-17 lead on Jackson’s 93-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Two B-CU turnovers resulted into scoring drives for NCCU and a 14-14 tie at halftime.
“We had some no-no’s that put them in good field position. They took advantage like good teams do,” added Jenkins.
B-CU got big plays in the fourth quarter. LaBrandon Richardson blocked a field goal attempt, D.J. Howard and Rashad Payne picked off passes and they recovered a fumble on consecutive drives.
Broderick Waters got the start at quarterback and had 96 total yards but Quentin Williams, who has started the past three games got the most snaps, threw for 126 yards with a score for the Wildcats.
Jordan Reid led the Eagles with 154 yards passing and two touchdowns while Arthur Goforth added 142 all-purpose yards.
Detwan Robinson and Decona Roberts each had touchdown receptions for NCCU.
Andronicus Lovette and Angelo Cabrera had touchdown runs and Preston Cleckley caught a 76-yard touchdown pass for B-CU.
“We had practiced that play all week after watching film. I knew it was coming and when the defender bit, I knew we had it,” commented Cleckley.
Ryan Smith led NCCU defensively with 12 total tackles.
Football game notes
Weather conditions from Hurricane Sandy kept many season ticket holders home affecting the game attendance.
B-CU has now won 10 straight MEAC games.
Eddie Poole has now caught a pass in 31 consecutive games and K.J Stroud now has a catch in nine straight.
Williams’ second quarter interception was the first of his career.
B-CU has recorded an interception in 15 straight games.
Isidore Jackson is now seventh in both career rushing yards (2,087) and touchdowns (22) in school history.
Coach Brian Jenkins is now 24-7 at B-CU and is tied for fifth for most career coaching wins in school history.
Bowling: Wildcats 4th at home meet
The #18 ranked Wildcats finished fourth in the 11-team Bethune-Cookman Invitational Tournament in DeLand from Oct. 26-28.
B-CU posted a 10-3 mark for the weekend. Rachel Moore (183.8 avg/11th), Staci Hilliard (181.2/14th) and Natalee Armstrong (180.8/15th) placed the ‘Cats individually. Other B-CU individual finishes were Felicia Baker (169.2/27th) and Crystiana Butler (148.2/34th).
Third-ranked Farleigh Dickerson won the event followed by eight-ranked Sam Houston State and #15 Adelphi.
B-CU will next compete in the Farleigh Dickerson, New Jearsey Jamboree from Nov. 2-4.
Cross Country: Dunkley 2nd at MEAC
B-CU star senior runner Kadian Dunkley (18:51.19) finished second at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships.
Dunkley failed to repeat as conference champion after winning last year’s event. This season she did win the HBCU Classic and finished third at Embry Riddle.
The Wildcats women’s team finished eight and the men finished 11th in the team standings.
Volleyball: ’Cats split
The Wildcats picked up a 3-1 win over Savannah State University (SSU) on Oct. 26 but fell to South Carolina State 3-0 on Oct. 28.
Krysta Gardner had 13 kills and Monica Lowe 32 assists with 13 digs to lead the Wildcats past SSU. Gardner tallied eight kills and Lowe 19 assist against South Carolina.
B-CU (4-24, 4-3) returns home for its final seven matches of the season. They host North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T on Nov. 2 and 4, respectively.