'Cats Take MEAC Lead With 42-17 Win Over NCCU
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Isidore Jackson rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns as Bethune-Cookman parlayed two of the longest scoring plays in school history and a dominant second half defense to pull away to a 42-17 victory over North Carolina Central before a Senior Day crowd of 5,839 at Municipal Stadium Saturday.
The Wildcats (6-2 overall, 5-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) scored the game's final 28 points for both the win and sole possession of first place in the conference standings.
"This was a great team victory," said B-CU Head Coach Brian Jenkins. "We played a tough, well-coached team in North Carolina Central. "They've done a tremendous job in a short period. When the bell rings, we go fight. We trained for a 15-round fight. We knew our knuckles would get bloody today."
North Carolina Central (5-3, 4-1 MEAC) took a 17-14 lead on a 28-yard Oleg Parent field goal with 7:23 remaining in the third quarter.
B-CU answered with a brisk, 63-yard ground drive that culminated in Rodney Scott's eight-yard run with 5:28 left that gave the Wildcats a 21-17 lead.
On B-CU's next possession, Jackson burst through the middle and rambled 93 yards on the fourth-longest touchdown run in school history to put the Wildcats up 11 heading into the final quarter.
Howard's interception and return set up B-CU at the Eagles 11 yard line. Three plays later, Jackson picked up a Quentin Williams pitch on the bounce and bullied his way from six yards out to make it 35-17 with 4:14 to go.
Angelo Cabrera wrapped up the scoring on a one-yarder with 58 seconds remaining after Payne's interception gave the Wildcats the ball at the NCCU 36.
It was an evenly-matched first half.
B-CU struck first on a one-yard Andronicus Lovette run with 4:29 left in the opening quarter, capping off a 61-yard drive. The Eagles capitalized on a B-CU punt return miscue, tying the game at 7-7 on a Jordan Reid 15-yarder to Detwan Robinson two plays after taking over on the Wildcats 15.
Williams' only touchdown was a 76-yard hitch-and-go to Preston Cleckly with 13:04 remaining in the first half that tied for the eighth-longest touchdown pass in school history.
The Eagles tied the game on a 28-yard Reid to Decona Roberts pass with 9:56 left.
Williams finished 6-of-15 for 126 yards for B-CU, while Brodrick Waters rushed for 53 and threw for 43. Scott had 13 carries for 49 yards, while KJ Stroud (27 yards) and Eddie Poole (20) each had three catches.
B-CU travels to Baltimore for a 1 p.m. meeting with Morgan State next Saturday.