Wildcats Comeback To Take Hornets “Honey” 38-28 for Back-to-Back MEAC/SWAC Challenge Wins
I Got Next! Special to the West Orlando News Online
A certain columnist warned you last week this Alabama State University wasn’t a joke. I told you I told, you I told you, and I’m rubbing in. Before the hometown team broke out of their scoring funk. The score was 21-0, (in terms of Madden video game rules, this equates to “game over”).
Hecklers will Heckle
You could hear it on the sideline, the back and forth jawing between the two teams during this battle between sister states and HBCU rivals. Alabama State came out strong and struck blood three times and established a 21-0 lead in the first half.
The Hornets opened up by taking their first drive of the for a touchdown, marching 75 yards in 12 plays and scoring on a five-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead. A recovered, muffed B-CU punt set up the Hornets’ second score, a two-yard run by RB Isaiah Crowell to extend the lead to 14-0 with 4:28 to play in the first quarter.
The heckling grew louder more curse words are now being used… by everyone.
Alabama State scored early in the second quarter, quickly moving 72 yards in eight plays. Jenkins’ three-yard scoring run gave the Hornets a 21-0 lead with 13:45 to play in until halftime.
You could hear it in the stands, the disgust at B-CU’s inability to move the ball forward, and much less score. By now people are addressing B-CU Head Coach Brian Jenkins Sr. directly. They are using words we teach our children not to use
Offensively, B-CU obviously was sluggish, gone was that bomb toss for a big game reception or ensuing touchdown. Still, once the scoring machine got revved up the steam built more and more. Isidore Jackson was good for 123 and Rodney Scott dropped another 100 to give B-CU three 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time in program history. You like that don’t you?
Andronicus Lovette put Bethune-Cookman on the board with a two-yard run with 9:18 remaining in the half, cutting the deficit to 21-7 and shut that banter up. A 20-yard Sven Hurd field goal closed out the first half for B-CU. The receiving corps was led by Eddie Poole’s three receptions for 102 yards; KJ Stroud caught four passes for 39 yards. As B-CU rushed past me into their locker room, you could feel resurgence in the air. I am sure Jenkins’ half-time speech had a bit to do with it.
Blame it on the Floridian Heat wave
Despite leading 21-10 at halftime, the Hornets could not maintain the lead or re-establish momentum, as three turnovers by ASU helped contribute to 28 second-half points by Bethune-Cookman. Blame it on that Florida Heat. From my stance on the surface of the Citrus Bowl, It was evident in some ASU players faces that the heat plus fatigue was taking a toll. The B-CU players zeroed in on it too. Want to compare Florida and Alabama heat? Nah I didn’t think so.
Not to be totally shown up by the offense, defensively, Dawud Lane registered an interception and Harold Love III a fumble recovery. Jarkevis Fields led B-CU with 10 tackles (two for loss), a sack and a pass break-up.
B-CU’s Heckler shutter upper
Funny how the hecklers grew quiet as church mice once backup QB Broderick Waters entered the game. Yes I know, Broderick who?
A flip through the B-CU media guide lists Waters as a receiver/quarterback. When starter Jackie Wilson was slow in jump-starting B-CU’s offense, Waters, a senior transfer out of Louisiana Tech stepped in and threw two touchdowns and ran for another as Bethune-Cookman erased a three-touchdown, first-half deficit and defeated Alabama State 38-28 in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge at the Florida Citrus Bowl Sunday. Waters was part of a B-CU rushing force, which totaled over 300 yards on the ground.
“I really felt comfortable in the pocket,” said Waters, “I was having problems with that in spring practice. I know I can play the position.” Well, he as heck put in some work Sunday. Sure as heck he’ll have to maintain in practice then play the waiting game to see who gets the nod.
Which is the tougher Conference MEAC or SWAC?
All of a sudden, the Maroon and Gold clad folks in the east half of the Orlando Citrus Bowl was making some noise. See what a few touchdowns will get you. For Bethune-Cookman, the win meant back-to-back MEAC/SWAC Challenge titles and a first for the inaugural HBCU game. With both teams coming into this game with identical records last season of 8-3.
The tied records talk coming was the biggest scuttlebutt. Which conference proves to have the better level of competition between the two? You’d have to look at the all time series from its inception in 2005… so I did. Dig it.
Alabama State recently participated in its second challenge, having played in the inaugural game against South Carolina State University 27-14 in 2005. They fared no better against the Bulldogs then against the Wildcats, insert pun here_____.
The record stands in favor of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Look here folks, out of 8 games played between the two conferences, the MEAC has won all but two, what do those figures tell you?
For MEAC bragging rights, B-CU is reining MEAC/SWAC Challenge Champions with two wins and no losses, followed by South Carolina State, . Ironic that B-CU plays SCSU next week in Orangeburg..Hmmm.
Before the game at a pep-rally, each coach was given the opportunity to speak on his programs perceived prowess. Jenkins reminded the group a coach who makes no boasts lets his team speak for him. He did it by walking off the stage and not engaging in idle chatter. On Sunday, his team followed his example on the field.