Bethune-Cookman Reels Off 28 Straight Points
Washington, DC—November 12---Bethune-Cookman College reeled off 28 points in the second half to rout Howard University, 45-16 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Greene Stadium before a sparse crowd of 1,067.
The Bison (4-6 overall, 1-6 in the MEAC) led 16-10 at the half on the strength of a 10-yard touchdown run by Ronald Venters , a 16-yard hookup between Venters and Larry Duncan and a safety. But the Wildcats (7-3 overall, 4-3 in the MEAC) took the opening possession of the second half, taking only seven plays to go 69 yards with Corey Council sprinting 35 yards for the touchdown.
That gave Bethune-Cookman a 17-16 advantage and more importantly momentum.
Howard turned the ball over on its next possession and the Wildcats wasted little time capitalizing as Council got behind the Bison secondary and hauled in a beautifully thrown pass from Jimmie Russell (8 of 17, 129 yards) that covered 60 yards and increased the lead to 24-16.
Three minutes later, B-CC was at it again as Chauncey Hampton capped off a 75-yard drive with a 23-yard scamper around right end.
The Bison, stymied by the inspired Wildcats defense turned the ball over again on its next possession and this time it took only one play for Eric Weems to score from 13 yards out.
And just for good measure, Bethune-Cookman brought in reserve quarterback Lawrence McCloud and he responded by taking his team on a textbook, 13-play, 88-yard drive that consumed almost seven minutes. McCloud finished off the drive with a 6-yard run untouched.
“They came out and scored on the first possession of the second half to swing the momentum,” said Howard Coach Ray Petty. “We helped their cause with two personal fouls on that drive. And then we turn it over and give them a short field. But I still feel that the personal fouls were a major factor.”
While the Wildcats’ Wyatt-Bone offense proved to be too much for the Bison defense all day, it was actually the Bethune-Cookman defense that played a huge role, holding Howard scoreless in the second half and at one point not allowing the Bison a first down on five straight possessions.
“I told the guys at halftime that we needed to score on our first possession and that would set the tone,” said B-CC Head Coach Alvin Wyatt. “The defense took control in the second half and played great. We knew once we scored, we could put pressure on them. That was pretty much how it went.”
With Russsell running the Wildcats’ option offense with great efficiency, the much-heralded Howard defense appeared to be off balance all day. The Bison came into the game, ranked third in 1-AA in rush defense, allowing only 77 yard per game. But the Wildcats tripled that total by halftime and finished with 330 yards, the most allowed by Howard in three years.
“When you play the option, you have to be disciplined in your assignments,” said Howard defensive tackle Jesse Hayes. “In the second half, there were a lot of missed assignments. People were out of position a lot and against that offense, you just cannot make mistakes. But when it is all said and done, they came out ready to play in the second half and we were flat and you see what happened.”
The lone bright spot for the Bison was the play of walk-on William Blanden, who returned 5 kickoffs for 145 yards, both career highs.
B-CC did a good job of spreading the wealth on offense as Richard Woodbury (79 yards) and Weems (12 carries, 77 yards, 2 TDs) led an attack where five different runners rushed for at least 42 yards
NEXT UP: The Wildcats close out the season next Saturday against rival Florida A&M University in the Florida Classic in Orlando, FL while the Bison will try to stop a three-game skid when they travel to Dover, DE to take on the Hornets of Delaware State at 12 noon. GAME NOTES
: Antoine Bethea had another fine effort in defeat with 7 solo tackles and four assists…the Wildcats averaged over seven yards per carry and hurt Howard with big plays all day…they had six plays of 50 or more yards…the Bison were held to only 75 yards rushing.