Bethune-Cookman University clawed its way for an ugly 24-12 win over Savannah State University on a day that was cloudy with occasional light rain in their home opener at Municipal Stadium.
“It’s just great being at home after being on the road for four weeks and dealing with the Hurricane. We had our fans and our band and they are awesome,” responded Bethune-Cookman Head Coach, Terry Sims.
The Wildcats used an old recipe of a potent rushing attack and a stingy defense to win. The ‘Cats offense racked up 300 yards on the ground while their defense held the Tigers to 163 total yards.
On the flip side B-CU was penalized 14 times for 141 yards.The Tigers kept the game close but just couldn’t get anything going.“We’re just not playing well enough to win football games. We’re making too many mistakes,” commented Savannah State Head Coach, Erik Raeburn. Bethune-Cookman (2-3, 1-1) struck first on Larry Brihm’s 10-yard touchdown to take a 7-0 with 9:50 to go in the first quarter.
B-CU jumped out to a 17-5 lead when Jamaruz Thompkins broke a 69-yard run for a score with 2:32 left in the third quarter.“We needed a play and it just so happened that I was able to take advantage of the opportunity given,” responded Thompkins. Savannah State (0-4, 0-2) got within 17-12 on a 43-yard touchdown run by Rashad Saxton with 7:28 left to play.
The Wildcats responded with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Akevious Williams to Que’Shaun Byrd with 2:21 left. SSU trailed 10-0 early in the second quarter. Safety Tyqueze Johnson tackled Tupac Isme in the endzome making it a 10-2 game with 4:24 left in the half.
The Tigers got the ball at the B-CU 13 yard line but only gained a yard and had settled for a Giovanni Lugo 29-yard field goal with 4:05 left in the third quarter making it a 10-5 game.“It’s frustrating when you think you match up well and you execute all week in practice but come out and can’t get the job done,” said Raeburn.
Thompkins finished with ran for 126 yards rushing with a score for B-CU. Saxton also finished with 103 rushing yards for SSU. The Wildcats also played both quarterbacks for the first time this season as both Brihm and Williams saw action. Williams was ineligible to begin the season.
“Having Williams back makes us what we are. He gave us what we expected. We are a two quarterback team,” noted Sims. Williams added 95 rushing yards for the Wildcats.
Both teams played without some of their best player as B-CU sat our running back Michael Jones (rest) while SSU were without quarterback T.J. Bell (injured) and running back Uriah Oliver (injured). Savannah State hosts Hampton next week while Bethune-Cookman has a bye.