Tigers Trounce Wildcats Thoroughly 21-14 in Home Opener
I Got Next!
Special to West Orlando News Online
Tennessee State University is not a joke. They are for real people. They traveled 586 miles from Nashville, Tenn. to a former swamp located at Larry Kelly field at Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach, and thoroughly dug in the Wildcats A–.
Ahem, this is a family sports column so you’ll have to fill in some blanks throughout this column.
The barber shop scene in “Coming to America” comes to mind a little here, specifically when they were arguing Joe Louis’ loss to Rocky Marciano ‘I don’t know how old he was but he got his “A” whipped’. You had to see the movie to get it.
Cats Dig Holes Too
Anyway, that was an off-topic reference to TSU’s 88-year football tradition.
Remember a few weeks ago when B-CU spoiled SCSU’s home opener? Now the Cats know that feeling. The top-ranked members of the Ohio Valley Conference set the tone by converting their first drive of the game for a touchdown. I swear it was déjà vu again.
TSU (4-0, 1-0) maintained their lead from beginning to end. The Tigers scoring prowess began when QB Michael German connected with tight end A.C. Leonard for an 80-yard completion on the second play of the game. Halfback Trabis Ward would score from four yards out on the next play to put the Tigers up 7-0 only one minute, 15 seconds into the game. There will be more on Ward later.
At this point, the collective Wildcat fans took notice of TSU’s high-powered offense as they rubbed their hands in anticipation of B-CU’s first score.
On TSU’s first full drive of the 2nd quarter, Ward would find the end zone again on a six yard romp to give the Tigers a two touchdown edge. TSU converted a 4th and 4 on the B-CU 33-yard, then a completed 24 yard catch-and-run to Travis James improve the Tigers offensive dominance.
B-CU Quarterback Quentin Williams put the Wildcats on the board with a nine-yarder to Preston Cleckley with 1:03 remaining in the first half, LeBrandon Richardson then put B-CU scooped up a TSU lateral and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown to make it a 21-14 game.
Bethune-Cookman (2-2) scored 14 points in the final 1:03 of the opening half to give fans something to cheer about but a defensive battle in the second half would see the Cats sit on that 14 until the end.
Dread locked running machines
Both teams had explosive running backs donning dreadlocks under their helmets and wearing number two on the jersey. For B-CU it was Isidore Jackson who finished with 16 carries for 75 yards. He averaged 4.1 yards per carry and his long was 15. He did not reach the endzone. In contrast, TSU’s dread-locked halfback Trabis Ward was good for 27 carries for 154 yards and two touchdowns. His average was 5.7 per carry. With the 27 rushes, Ward now has seven touchdowns on the season and has scored at least once in every game this season.
In way of the passing game, here is how it played out for B-CU. Both Broderick Waters and Quentin Williams took snaps while directing the offense. Waters was 4 for 9 for 12 yards while Williams was 9 of 17 for 79. I didn’t see your boy Jackie Wilson take a snap. Better luck next week sir.
B-CU also went with six receivers totaling 91 yards to TSUs 157. B-CU did not run the ball, pass nor kick the ball well. Remember I mentioned Sven Hurd’s kicking prowess in previous columns? It was not so Saturday as that guy was blocked once and missed another wide right. I saw the ball as it bounced into the grass and shook my head in disgust as children rushed to grab the pigskin.
Here are Head Coach Brian Jenkins thoughts on the aftermath.
“I have to step back and evaluate a lot of things, beginning with myself. One thing I don’t want to do is take anything away from Tennessee State. My hat’s off to [Head Coach] Rod Reed and his staff and players for a job well done. They were the better team today. Once again, we did not executive. We did not follow through and we did not finish.”
This is what coach said to the reporters. I am certain many expletives ran through his head.
The only bright spot for B-CU fans…Halftime!
If ever there was a bright spot in this entire travesty for B-CU fans, it was the performance of the Marching Wildcats. Bear in mind of the 5,461 fans crammed into Municipal Stadium, over half of the visiting side was filled with loyal Tigers fans!
You thought it was a farce? These Tennessee folk are serious about their football. They figured on traveling further south to teach these Florida boys a thing or two. Perhaps on the gridiron, not so much with the battle of the bands on the field and in the stands.
It isn’t very often that other HBCUs will travel to Daytona Beach to get blasted off the field by the Marching “Pride” but I thoroughly dug “The Aristocrat of Bands,” as they call themselves. Their sound was rich but could not compete with the blare from B-CU. Call me biased. Picture me rolling. I suppose their drum section and trumpets could compete in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC), not so much in the MEAC. Since I was on field, I could not see their formations either… They showcased a chubby tuba section who entertained with a fat dance routine. A flash of silver caught my eye and I maintained focus on Tenn. State’s version of the 14 Ks of B-CU. What sort of columnist would I be not to dig TSUs dancers? Cute.
The sloppy TSU Heckler gets the Gas-Face!
One thing I simply cannot abide is a fan with no sportsmanship. This is what I experienced upon my trip into the stands to interact with students and alumni on the HOME side of B-CU. There was a very sloppy pot-bellied TSU supporter amongst the fan section giving B-CU the business. This went down all afternoon.
I leave it to the reader on what should have come of the situation but to me the entire situation was simply piss-poor. If I was a TSU fan, I wouldn’t want to be represented in that manner. As if the brother is reading this piece, I shall direct my disgust at him directly.
I have to shake my head at you sir. No Class.
Wildcat fans; please exemplify sportsmanship even in defeat. It was a good game and it was non-conference. You should be glad, not sad.
Moving right along to games which matter, B-CU faces the Hampton University Pirates in a hostile environment in Hampton, V.A. One thing about TSU, their fan base really really supported them through travel. There were many buses from the “Volunteer state” in the lots of Municipal Stadium eastside. This was a hint if you didn’t notice for you to make that trip to Hampton and remember, I got next!
DEFENSIVE NOTES courtesy of B-CUathletics: D.J. Howard‘s interception was the fourth of his career and marked the 11th straight game B-CU has registered a pick … In addition to a career-high for him, Jarkevis Fields’ 14 tackles were a B-CU high this year … B-CU has been outscored 42-7 in the first quarter on the season.