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Florida HBCU

Bethune-Cookman and Grambling State Trade Blows in SWAC Battle

Kevyn Bryant II

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In an exhilarating Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Football contest at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium, the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats found themselves on the losing side of a 28-14 decision against Grambling State on a Saturday afternoon. The game was a rollercoaster ride of momentum swings, with turnovers playing a pivotal role in the final outcome.

The opening quarter saw both teams combine for an impressive 28 points, setting the stage for a high-octane showdown. However, it was Bethune-Cookman (1-7, 0-5 SWAC) that found themselves trailing 21-14 at halftime, in spite of their early lead.

The Wildcats began the game with a bang, as wide receiver Tink Boyd, a Virginia Tech transfer, seized the opportunity. Facing a fourth-and-one situation on their own 42-yard line, Bethune-Cookman executed a daring play. Tight end Nebanye Moore took the snap, but the ball was dislodged and found its way into Boyd’s hands, resulting in a remarkable 58-yard fumble return for a touchdown. This electrifying play put BCU ahead 7-0 in the early stages.

Grambling State (4-4, 3-2 SWAC) responded swiftly, with Davonte Webster recovering a BCU fumble and sprinting 17 yards into the end zone to even the score at 7-7 after Tanner Rinker’s successful extra point.

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The Tigers then seized the lead for the first time in the game, thanks to a swift drive orchestrated by quarterback Myles Crawley. In just four plays, the Tigers covered significant ground, highlighted by a 33-yard connection with receiver Javon Robinson. Chance Williams capped off the drive with a 21-yard rushing touchdown, and Grambling State took the lead at 14-7.

Grambling State’s dominance continued as Williams added a 61-yard rushing touchdown, concluding a thrilling first quarter with the Tigers ahead 21-7.

Bethune-Cookman didn’t back down, reducing the deficit just before halftime by capitalizing on their second fumble recovery for a touchdown. After Floyd Chalk’s promising runs on a GSU drive, Floyd fumbled at the BCU 23-yard line, and Omari Hill-Robinson made a game-changing play. He scooped up the fumble and raced 77 yards to the end zone, marking his first touchdown of the 2023 season.

In the fourth quarter, Grambling State sealed the deal with a 34-yard rushing touchdown from Floyd, securing the final 28-14 scoreline.

Myles Crawley completed 11 of 22 passes for 142 yards and orchestrated Grambling State’s offense with precision. Chance Williams shone with a pair of rushing touchdowns and over 100 yards on the ground. Crawley connected with six different receivers, with Javon Robinson amassing six catches for 73 yards. The Tigers’ defense was led by the impressive Sundiata Anderson, who contributed 11 tackles, while Lewis Matthews added eight.

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Tylik Bethea, making his first start for Bethune-Cookman, displayed his potential by connecting with six different receivers in the game. He concluded the contest with eight completions and 70 yards through the air. Iverson Clement led the Wildcats’ defense with a team-high 10 tackles, and four additional Wildcats made four tackles each.

Bethune-Cookman is set to return to the field with an exciting matchup against Mississippi Valley State on Thursday, November 2, at 7:30 p.m. The prime time action will be broadcast on ESPNU and promises another thrilling chapter in their SWAC journey.

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Florida HBCU

Ratters Gain Bragging Rights Against BCU in Florida Classic

Kevyn Bryant II

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© sportsclubflorida.com | Dominque Tarver

In the much-anticipated Week 12 clash between the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and the powerhouse Florida A&M Rattlers, the stakes were high as both teams approached the grand finale of their Southwestern Athletic Conference regular-season campaign.

This annual showdown between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is not merely confined to the realm of football; it stands as a cherished tradition with significance that transcends the boundaries of the playing field. FAMU has won 10 games since 1999 and BCU needed an answer to the dominate performances but couldn’t find one.

 

The Rattlers, going into the game FAMU was boasting an impressive 9-1 record, including a flawless 7-0 SWAC performance, have ascended to the seventh position in the Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll. Their momentum continued with a commanding 28-0 victory over Lincoln (CA) last week, marking their eighth consecutive triumph.

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The spotlight of this electrifying showdown not only falls on team accomplishments but also on individual performances that fueled the Rattlers’ dominance. Quarterback Moussa delivered a stellar performance, amassing 150 yards with a 14/21 completion rate, and showcasing precision in execution. However, it was the Rattlers’ elite rushing corps that truly stole the show, with three different players rushing for 30+ yards. Terrel Jennings emerged as the standout, making a lasting impact with 2 touchdowns and an impressive 62 yards on 8 carries.

On the Bethune-Cookman side, quarterback Walter Simmons demonstrated resilience with 79 yards, 1 interception, and a rushing touchdown. Although the rushing core exhibited decent performances, amassing a total of 127 rushing yards, they fell short in securing touchdowns. Jimmie Robinson III led the core with notable contributions.

As the dust settles on this fierce encounter, it becomes evident that Bethune-Cookman faces a strategic challenge in capitalizing on its rushing game to open up more intermediate throwing lanes. The need for refinement in their offensive approach is clear, and the Wildcats will undoubtedly be seeking solutions as they navigate the remainder of the season.

With the Rattlers reveling in their triumph, this dynamic matchup sets the stage for further excitement as both teams chart their course toward postseason glory. Stay tuned for more gridiron drama and the unfolding narrative of SWAC supremacy.”

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Florida HBCU

Bethune-Cookman Roars to Victory with a Dominant Ground Game, Defeating Alabama A&M 31-14

Kevyn Bryant II

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© sportsclubflorida.com | Kevyn Bryant II

In a resounding display of ground dominance, Bethune-Cookman delivered a season-best performance, rushing for an impressive 412 yards and securing a convincing 31-14 victory over Alabama A&M at Daytona Stadium in a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) football clash. The game, dedicated to “Senior Appreciation Day,” paid tribute to 22 seniors from various facets of the Wildcats’ community.

Ground Attack Reigns Supreme

Bethune-Cookman’s ground assault was led by Walter Simmons III, who garnered a game-high 165 yards. The Wildcats boasted three players with over 100 rushing yards, showcasing the depth of their formidable running game.

A Fourth-Quarter Surge

Despite trailing 14-7 at halftime, Bethune-Cookman staged a remarkable comeback, outscoring the Bulldogs 21-0 in a dominant fourth quarter. The turning point came when Mar’Kai Shaw, fueled by a 52-yard sprint, secured a crucial touchdown, giving the Maroon and Gold a 17-14 lead.

Simmons’ Dual Threat

Walter Simmons III, stepping in after an injury to starting quarterback Tylik Bethea, showcased his dual-threat capabilities. Simmons not only orchestrated a 47-yard touchdown run but also added a 22-yard rush, contributing to the Wildcats’ fourth-quarter surge.

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Defensive Brilliance

The Wildcats’ defense intensified in the second half, with Omari Hill-Robinson intercepting a Quincy Casey pass and setting the stage for Simmons’ second score. The defensive effort, featuring key plays from Dearis Thomas, Joshua Thornhill, and others, proved instrumental in stifling Alabama A&M.

Looking Ahead

Bethune-Cookman concludes the 2023 season on a high note, finishing 3-1 at home. The Wildcats now set their sights on the Florida Blue Florida Classic in Orlando, Florida, facing in-state rival Florida A&M on November 18th at Camping World Stadium. With a potent ground game and resilient defense, Bethune-Cookman aims to cap the season with another triumph in this highly anticipated matchup.

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Florida HBCU

Florida A&M Dominates Lincoln (Ca.) with a Resounding 28-0 Victory

Kevyn Bryant II

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copyright FAMU Athletics

In a commanding defensive showcase, Florida A&M extended their home winning streak to an impressive 19 games by overpowering Lincoln (Ca.) with a decisive 28-0 triumph. The Rattlers showcased their prowess on both ends of the field, improving their season record to an impressive 9-1, while Lincoln (Ca.) struggled, falling to 0-11.

Defensive Brilliance Takes Center Stage

Florida A&M’s defensive unit orchestrated a masterclass, holding the Oaklanders to a mere 171 total yards. The Rattlers asserted their dominance by restricting both the passing and rushing game, allowing only 139 yards through the air and a mere 32 on the ground. Defensive standouts, led by Deco Wilson with five tackles, one interception, and a defensive touchdown, ensured that the Oaklanders found little room to maneuver. James Ash contributed with an interception, and Johnny Chaney Jr. added four tackles, 1.0 TFL, and a crucial sack.

Ground Game Dominance

Terrell Jennings led the Rattlers’ ground assault, amassing 53 yards with an impressive 6.6 yards per carry, while Kevin Sawyer Jr. contributed 37 yards with a remarkable 9.2 yards per carry. Nicholas Dixon chipped in with two catches for 25 yards, adding versatility to Florida A&M’s offensive display.

Game-Changing Moments

Florida A&M seized control early, scoring with just 16 seconds left in the first quarter to establish a 7-0 lead. A relentless offensive effort and a stellar defensive showcase allowed the Rattlers to extend their lead to 21-0. The dominance continued, with another touchdown at 1:02 left in the third quarter, solidifying the 28-0 victory.

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Statistical Highlights

Florida A&M outpaced Lincoln (Ca.) with 236 total yards compared to 171, including a commanding 141-32 advantage in rushing yards. The Rattlers won the turnover battle, securing two interceptions while surrendering the ball only once. Notably, they showcased a flawless red-zone defense, allowing zero points in two trips.

In a game marked by defensive prowess, offensive efficiency, and strategic dominance, Florida A&M’s resounding victory underscored their status as a force to be reckoned with in collegiate football. With an unyielding home winning streak and a standout defensive performance, the Rattlers are poised for continued success on the gridiron.**

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