BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Bethune-Cookman edged archrival Florida A&M 21-16 in the Florida Classic in Orlando on Saturday. The No. 22 Wildcats will move on to the playoffs.
The Wildcats will host the Big South Champion Coastal Carolina (7-4) in the first round of the FCS playoffs on Nov. 24 at Municipal Stadium. The game will air on ESPN3 beginning at 2 p.m.
“It was a great win for our program,” said B-CU Coach Brian Jenkins about Saturday’s win over the Rattlers. “We found a way to win. We beat a good football team that has faced a lot of adversity in recent weeks.’’
Florida A&M (4-7, 4-4) had a game-winning drive going when Damien Fleming was sacked by Harold Love and fumbled.
“We ran a stunt play and he was right in front of me. It’s good to get the sack but it was a total team effort,” said Love.
After initially being ruled down, an official review reversed the call giving B-CU the ball with over a minute left.
It was the only takeaway of the game for the Wildcats, who lead the FCS in takeaways.
“You can’t depend on getting turnovers but our defense buckled down and made a play,” said Jenkins.
Jackson named MVP
Isidore Jackson ran for 77 yards and had 41 receiving and was named MVP for B-CU.
“I just went and did what I am supposed to do. I do my best to lead my team and our offensive line did a good job blocking,” responded Jackson.
Quentin Williams threw for 120 yards with a touchdown and ran for 86 more for the Wildcats.
Bethune-Cookman (9-2, 7-0) also converted two critical fourth downs en route to the win.
“It’s a testament to our offensive line. They pulled it together against a good front and our backs didn’t want to stop. Our guys wanted to go for it,” commented Jenkins.
Fight to the finish
Jackson took a pitch and went 34 yards for a score on a fourth down and three yards to go in the third quarter giving B-CU a 14-10 lead.
B-CU led 21-10 after Andronicus Lovette’s one-yard score in the first quarter. A play earlier, Lovette converted a fourth down and three to go with a run.
Fleming threw for 166 yards with a touchdown and was named MVP for the Rattlers.
Eddie Rocker ran for 69 yards, James Owens ran for 58 with a score and Dewayne Harvey caught a touchdown for FAMU.
Jonathan Pillow (eight tackles, one sack) and Ellie Hyppolite (six tackles, one sack) led FAMU’s defense.
Eddie Poole had a touchdown catch and Jarkevis Fields tallied 11 tackles for B-CU.
B-CU went undefeated in MEAC play for the first time since 1984 and 8-0 for the first time ever.
Eddie Poole has caught a pass in 34 straight games, every game of his career.
Duwad Lane has now blocked a kick in three straight games.
Isidore Jackson (992) is eight yards shy of 1,000 rushing for the season. The last Wildcat to run for 1,000 yards was Allen Suber in 2002.
Coach Jenkins is now 2-1 vs. Florida A&M and in the Florida Classic.
More about playoffs
The Nov. 24 game will be the second playoff appearance of the Wildcats in the last three seasons and the second time hosting one for B-CU. It’s the fourth overall playoff appearance and third home playoff game for B-CU.
Basketball: Wildcats win
The women’s basketball team defeated Florida Atlantic 71-61on Nov. 16.
Amanda Hairston had 14 points, seven rebounds and five blocks while Terrenisha Hollis added 14 points with six rebounds for B-CU.
The Wildcats (2-1) played Stetson on Tuesday night.
The men’s team topped New Orleans 71-65 to earn its first win on Nov. 15.
Adrien Coleman had 20 points with 10 rebounds and Alex Smith 14 points with eight boards for B-CU.
Two days earlier, the team fell to Tulane 65-55. In that game, Kevin Dukes led the way with 13 points while Mikel Trapp added 12 and Coleman 11 for the Wildcats.
B-CU (1-2) faced Kent State on Tuesday night which was after the Times’ deadline.
Volleyball: ‘Cats season ends
The Wildcats lost 3-0 to Maryland Eastern Shore in the MEAC Tournament Quarter Final match.
The lost ended their season and the careers of star seniors Krysta Gardner and Janeen Davis.
B-CU was led by Gardner with 13 kills in that match. Davis and Rhea Simon each added four kills and Moncia Lowe 22 assists with six digs.
Gardner is the schools’ all-time leader in kills (1,198), attempts (3.412) and service aces (134) while Davis ranks third in kills (859) and fourth in digs (810).