Howard Uses Defense and Balanced Attack In Win over Charleston Southern
Charleston, SC, Oct. 1--Keon Coleman rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown, Jarahn Williams rushed for one score and caught a TD pass for another and Ronald Venters ran for a score and added another on a pass to lead Howard University to a 27-22 win over Charleston Southern in a non-conference game.
The Bison (3-2) fell behind 12-0 early before a interception return by defensive end Jarrett Burgess (Calvin Coolidge HS) set up Howard’s first score, a three-yard run by quarterback Venters.
“We got off to a slow start,” explained Howard head coach Ray Petty. “Our starting running back (Antoine Rutherford) was injured on the first series; we had the wind in our face; we turned the ball over on our first possession and gave them a short field. That plus the fact that they came out with a lot of emotion gave them an early edge.”
The Buccaneers (2-3) added a 34-yard field goal by Nick Ellis to up the margin, 15-7. Then the Bison slowly took control of the game. First Coleman, who had missed most of the past two games with a shoulder injury, scored on a 12-yard run in which he came out of a pile at the line of scrimmage, broke several tackles and scored standing up to get Howard to within, 15-14 at the 7:11 mark of the second period.
The defense, inspired by Coleman’s run, stopped the Buccaneers on their next possession and Venters engineered a 9-play, 86-yard drive that was culminated on a beautifully timed strike to Williams from 25 yards out to make it 21-15 at the half.
The Bison extended their lead to 27-15 when Williams opened the second half with a broken field, 65-yard run for the first rushing TD of his career.
Howard used its defensive pressure to limit Charleston Southern into 16 net yards rushing on 24 carries. It marked the fourth time in five games that the defense has held an opponent to under 100 yards rushing. The Bison came into the game ranked 4th in 1-AA in rushing defense and figure to move up after this performance.
“I thought the defense played especially well,” praised Petty. “They got us out of some potentially bad situations and they came up with plays when we needed them.”
There were two instances that illustrate Petty’s point. Once early in the fourth quarter after Charleston Southern had scored to cut the deficit to 27-22, the Buccaneers were threatening to take the lead. But on a fourth and inches, the Bison defense stopped them for no gain and took over on downs.
On another possession late in the fourth quarter, Charleston Southern faced a key third-and-three from its own 48. Sophomore linebacker Danual Pearce, who is having a brilliant season, came clean on a blitz and sacked Drafts for a 12-yard loss that snuffed out the drive.
“That was probably the biggest play of the game,” said Petty.
By shutting down the run, Buccaneers’ quarterback Collin Drafts was forced to pass 33 times, completing 20 for 252 yards, but he was able to get his team in the end zone only once after intermission.
Meanwhile, the Bison amassed almost 500 yards of total offense, compliments of some outstanding blocking on the offensive line, the running of Coleman (24 carries, 140 yards, 1 TD) and the all-around play of Williams (5 receptions 112 yards, 1 TD; 1 rush for 65 yards and a TD).
Venters settled down following a shaky start and had a fine performance, completing 16 of 27 for 225 yards and the TD to Williams.
There were several outstanding performers on defense including Antoine Bethea (10 tackles), Pearce (9 tackles, 1 sack), Timothy Lockett (7 tackles) and Jamar Butler.
The Bison are off until October 15 when travel to Baltimore, MD to take on the Bears of Morgan State for their homecoming at 1 p.m. in Hughes Stadium. GAME NOTES
: Rutherford and freshman sensation Martin Decembert both suffered knee injuries and will be evaluated on Monday…the kicking game continues to have its woes…there was a bad snap on a punt that resulted in a safety and Noam Dror missed two two short field goal attempts and a PAT…Venters completed passes to 8 different receivers.