A week after losing its first MEAC contest in over two seasons, 18th ranked Bethune-Cookman bounced back in impressive fashion thrashing the Hampton Pirates 42-12 on Senior Day in Daytona Beach.
The Wildcats racked up 557 yards of total offense including 475 rushing yards in the contest.
BCU opened the game’s scoring on an 11 play, 87 yard touchdown drive on its second possession of the contest. The Wildcats ran the ball 10 straight times on the drive with the only pass attempt resulting in a 6 yard touchdown reception from Jackie Wilson to Cary White.
The Wildcats doubled their lead on their next possession but needed just 4 plays this time to hit pay dirt. Isidore Jackson, who finished the contest with 102 yards rushing on 9 attempts, scampered down the right sideline for 53 yards to set the Cats up with 1st and goal at the 6. Two plays later, Wilson twisted his way into the endzone on a quarterback keeper.
“We came out focused and ready to play” coach Brian Jenkins stated after the contest. “We are a good football team. A lot of people doubted us after last week and that’s okay.” “We had a talk as a team. There was no panic; it was just (about) cleaning up our act and we did that. The approach we took is we’re not going to let it go to the score cards.”
Anthony Prevost successfully converted a 34 yard field goal to give Hampton their only points of the first half. But the Wildcats would respond immediately needing to travel just 15 yards for their third touchdown of the half. Darian Baker took the ensuing kickoff 82 yards to the Hampton 15 yard line. 3 plays later, Quentin Williams finished the drive on a 1 yard option keeper.
Brodrick Waters scored on a 2 point conversion attempt and put BCU ahead 22-3 at the half.
Hampton had several chances to get back into the contest early in the 3rd but the Wildcat’s tenacious defense kept the Pirates at bay. After HU trimmed the lead to 22-6, the BCU offense fumbled on its first two possessions of the 3rd quarter but the defense held firm and prevented the Pirates from capitalizing on either of the turnovers holding them to a missed FG attempt and stopping them on a 4th and 1 respectively.
Freshman running back Michael Jones pushed the BCU lead to 28-6 midway through the 3rd quarter on a nifty 30 yard run. Jones made a couple of HU defenders miss and outran a few others on his way to the endzone. “I stretched the play to the right, the defense was over-pursuing, I found a cutback lane and hit it” Jones remarked in the postgame presser.
Quentin Williams and Drexler Dixon added rushing touchdowns in the 4th quarter for the Wildcats while the Pirates’ Marcus Hampton recorded HU’s only touchdown of the game in the final frame.
“It was good to end my last regular season home game with a (convincing) win ” senior defensive end Tevin Toney stated. He went on to state, “it goes to show you that the hard work that we put in pays off in games.”
Toney and his defensive mates forced 2 Hampton interceptions and limited the Pirate offense to just 216 yards.
BCU takes on archrival Florida A&M next week in the Florida Blue Florida Classic in Orlando. A Florida Classic win would grant the Wildcats at least a share of the MEAC crown for the third time in four years. A win would also secure BCU’s 3rd trip to the playoffs in 4 years as the Cats would be awarded the conference’s automatic bid.