ORLAND, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman held off a late charge from Florida A&M to secure its second straight victory in the Florida Blue Florida Classic. The Wildcats, who are headed to the FCS playoffs, have now won 7 consecutive games and 13 straight in MEAC play.
Quentin Williams threw for 120 yards and one touchdown on 12-18 passing. Williams also rushed for 86 yards including a 51 yard scamper in the first quarter which helped setup Bethune’s first score of the afternoon.
After trailing 10-7 at halftime, BCU scored on a 34-yard Isidore Jackson touchdown run with 3:13 remaining in the third quarter. Jackson ended the afternoon with 77 yards rushing leaving him just 8 yards shy of reaching 1,000 on the season. Andronicus Lovette added a 1-yard rushing score with 11:30 left to push BCU’s lead to 21-10.
Florida A&M made a contest of it after Damien Fleming eluded a certain sack and connected with Dewayne Harvey for a 37-yard score to cut the lead to 5 (21-16) with 8:04 remaining.
Fleming had a final opportunity to work his magic when the Rattlers took over possession on their own 47 with 3:49 left in the contest. However, it was the BCU defense that made the game defining play. On 2nd down and 17, Harold Love III chased down Fleming forcing a fumble with 1:17 seconds left in game. Tevin Toney recovered the fumble and raced 47 yards for an apparent BCU touchdown but the officials (who did not have a particularly great day at the office) initially ruled that the runner was down on the play but reversed the call after a booth review. The touchdown did not stand, but BCU was able to take over possession and run out the clock.
Jarkevis Fields, who stated that he had quite a few family and friends in the house screaming go #1 and Go Wildcats, led the Wildcats with 11 tackles including 2 for loss.
The playoff bound Wildcats will now await word on their next opponent. The FCS playoff field of 20 will be revealed Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. on the ESPN family of networks.