Bethune-Cookman dominates N.C. Central

Nov. 02, 2013 @ 10:30 PM
There were roughly nine minutes left in the third quarter when N.C. Central quarterback Malcolm Bell, with an empty backfield, dropped back and immediately encountered a wall of heat from a fierce Bethune-Cookman blitz Saturday.
 
The Wildcats really rang Bell, whose desperate heave fell into the hands of Bethune-Cookman defensive tackle Rony Barrow.
 
NCCU left tackle Charles Goodwin peeled Bell off the ground, and the Wildcats went on to score. Again.
 
Bethune-Cookman, ranked No. 13 in the Football Championship Subdvision, won 38-14 at NCCU’s O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
 
The nationally televised game wasn’t even that close for an NCCU team that was down 31-0 with 12:30 left in the fourth quarter.
 
“You can’t start off slow in football games,” NCCU interim coach Dwayne Foster said. “Got behind and started to play behind, again.”
 
That’s been the story lately for NCCU — slow starts, playing catch-up.
 
For the second time this season, NCCU got taken to the woodshed at home on national TV.
 
On Oct. 10 on ESPNU, S.C. State ran over NCCU 44-3.
 
Those who watched Bethune-Cookman have its way with NCCU on ESPNews saw basically the same thing, an Eagles team that was both unable to run the ball on offense and powerless to stop the run on defense.
 
Bethune-Cookman, the defending champion of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, generated 436 rushing yards.
 
NCCU didn’t do anything on the ground, finishing the game with minus-1 rushing yards. That allowed the Wildcats’ defenders to keep teeing off up front, not allowing Bell, a redshirt freshman, to get comfortable. He threw two interceptions and was sacked three times.
 
It was Bell’s second collegiate start after taking over a week prior for injured veteran quarterback Jordan Reid.
 
Reid, wearing a brace on his right knee, did play, holding for a missed field-goal attempt in the second quarter before taking snaps under center with 4:42 left in the third quarter. He was 4 of 6 passing for 71 yards.
 
Bell, who played most of the first three quarters, was 6 of 18 passing for 67 yards.
 
Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins didn’t know which NCCU quarterback would start but said it didn’t matter.
 
“Whatever quarterback played, we were prepared to defend him,” Jenkins said.
 
Bethune-Cookman leads the MEAC in time of possession and against NCCU hung onto the ball for 36:44 to just 23:16 for NCCU. The Wildcats ran 86 plays for 594 total yards while NCCU only got off 56 plays for 137 total yards.
 
Bethune-Cookman actually was penalized for more yardage than NCCU gained. The Wildcats were flagged 24 times for 232 yards.
 
“Terrible officiating crew,” Jenkins said. “Simple as that. I’m going to be point-blank, that’s the worse I have ever seen.”
 
Officials threw nine flags for 110 yards on NCCU.
 
“I’ve never seen nothing like it,” Jenkins said. “Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t play disciplined like we should have.
 
“But come on now, over 20-plus penalties at halftime. I know we’re not that undisciplined, and I know the opposite team from North Carolina Central is not that undisciplined. That is unbelievable. That is unbelievable. I really thought this conference was past that. We’ve had great officiating. Great officiating. (Saturday), in my mind, it’s questionable.”
 
Jenkins received a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in the first quarter.
 
In the fourth quarter, NCCU’s Thomas Dixon scored a touchdown on a 100-yard kickoff return, and NCCU linebacker Tazmon Foster led all tacklers with 18, a career high for him.
 
And Oleg Parent punted well all day for the Eagles, averaging 40.6 yards.
 
Otherwise, there wasn’t much else to say about NCCU that was good. Even NCCU’s traditionally supreme marching band was outshined by a much larger and more spirited contingent of Bethune-Cookman instrumentalists.
 
Of course, Bethune-Cookman’s band had a good bit more to celebrate.
 
 
BETHUNE-COOKMAN 38, NC CENTRAL 14
Bethune-Cookman 7 10 7 14—38
NC Central 0 0 0 14—14
First Quarter

Beth—C.White 3 run (J.Cagle kick), 1:17.

Second Quarter

Beth—Poole 31 pass from Q.Williams (J.Cagle kick), 11:46.

Beth—FG J.Cagle 31, 6:11.

Third Quarter

Beth—Jackson 9 run (J.Cagle kick), 8:19.

Fourth Quarter

Beth—Michael D.Jones 3 run (J.Cagle kick), 12:30.

NCCe—Dixon 100 kickoff return (Parent kick), 12:16.

Beth—Nelson 75 run (J.Cagle kick), 12:04.

NCCe—K.Thompson 6 run (Parent kick), 3:48.

A—6,411.

———

  Beth NCCe
First downs 28 14
Rushes-yards 59-436 32-(-1)
Passing 158 138
Comp-Att-Int 14-27-1 10-24-2
Return Yards 85 28
Punts-Avg. 5-40.2 9-40.6
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 25-232 9-110
Time of Possession 36:44 23:16

———

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Bethune-Cookman, Jackson 20-182, Nelson 3-85,

C.White 11-49, Q.Williams 10-44, Wilson 5-39, Michael D.Jones 8-35,

M.Green 2-2. NC Central, Wright 7-17, Clarke 9-17, Reid 2-9,

K.Thompson 2-8, Swinson 2-5, Team 4-(minus 28), Bell 6-(minus 29).

PASSING—Bethune-Cookman, Q.Williams 12-20-0-147, Wilson 2-6-1-11,

Waters 0-1-0-0. NC Central, Bell 6-18-2-67, Reid 4-6-0-71.

RECEIVING—Bethune-Cookman, Poole 3-56, J.Carter 3-44,

Cleckley 3-28, Jackson 2-14, Gordon 1-9, Baker 1-4, C.White 1-3.

NC Central, Poole 3-41, D.Johnson 2-14, Tate 1-36, Dixon 1-21,

T.Harris 1-17, G.Smith 1-8, Swinson 1-1.