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Jordan Murphy hauled in a 6 yard TD pass from Jackie Wilson with 5:01 remaining in the 4th quarter giving Bethune-Cookman a 12-9 lead over Tennessee State and the game’s only touchdown. The Wildcats held on by the same scoreline and walked out of Sunday night’s John Merritt Classic with its 2nd victory over TSU in 8 tries.

Bethune dominated the opening quarter scoring on its first two possessions and limiting the TSU offense to no points and just 35 yards of offense in the process.

The only thing BCU did wrong in the opening frame was not score touchdowns.  Instead, the Cats were forced to settle on two made field goals by Werley Cagle (21, 30 ) for an early 6-0 lead.  Quarterback Brodrick Waters’ 33 yard strike to Preston Cleckley aided in setting up BCU’s initial score.

Tennessee State got its first points of the night in the 2nd quarter after Cagle botched the snap on a punt and was unable to get the kick away. TSU took over on the Wildcat 5 yard line but a stout BCU defense limited to damage to just 3 points.  A second Jamin Godfrey field goal tied the game at 6 apiece heading into the half.

The Blue Tigers took advantage of its first possession of the second half and marched 86 yards on 18 plays covering 10:22.  Godfrey’s 26 yard field goal gave TSU its first and only lead of the night.

But the Wildcats were not to be denied.  BCU sealed the victory when Wilson connected with Murphy on a 6 yard TD strike in the left endzone which capped a 12 play, 71 yard scoring drive.  Wilson went 4-4 for 40 yards on the game clinching drive.

Defensively, the Wildcats held Tennessee State without a touchdown and limited the Tigers to just 248 yards of offense.

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