DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman extended its winning streak over Grambling State with a 36-19 victory to open Southwestern Athletic Conference play on Saturday afternoon at Daytona Stadium.
Grambling State, which has dropped four straight to Bethune-Cookman, trailed 20-19 to open the final quarter, but turnovers and penalties plagued the Tigers in the conference defeat.
Bethune-Cookman (1-2 overall, 1-0 SWAC) got the explosive opening quarter started as Que’Shaun Byrd went 81 yards to set up first down from the GSU 4. Two plays later, Jason Jones completed a pass to Marcus Riley for a 4-yard touchdown as the Wildcats grabbed the quick 7-0 lead with 13:04 remaining.
Grambling State (1-3, 0-1) answered and capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive as Dedrick Talbert scored on a 3-yard run, tying the game at 7 with 8:22 left.
Back came BCU as Darnell Deas returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for the score as the Wildcats jumped back out front, 14-7, with 8:18 remaining.
The Tigers responded with a big play as Quaterius Hawkins connected with CJ Russell 61 yards to set up GSU deep in BCU territory. However, the drive stalled as Urban booted a 24-yard field to close the Wildcats lead to 14-10 with 5:53 left.
Bethune-Cookman put together a 13-play, 69-yard drive as Dylan Moghaddam booted a 23-yard field goal to open the second period as the Wildcats extended the lead to 17-10 with 14:55 remaining in the half.
The Tigers answered the BCU scoring drive by as Hawkins connected with Phazion Wilson for his first collegiate touchdown on a 9-yard reception to complete an 8-play, 94-yard drive with 11:29 left in the quarter.
GSU got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff as Rey Estes forced a fumble to give the Tigers good starting position at the BCU 40. However, the GSU drive stalled when Hawkins was picked off in the end zone by Omari Hill-Robinson with 9:27 left.
The Tigers picked up their first safety of the season when Joshua Reed tackled Byrd in the end zone as GSU grabbed a 19-17 advantage with 8:40 remaining.
Bethune-Cookman took a 20-19 lead as Moghaddam drilled a 22-yard field goal, completing an 11-play, 76-yard drive with 3:30 remaining in the third.
Grambling State drove down to the BCU 23 as the drive stalled. Urban’s 39-yard field-goal attempt was blocked as the Wildcats ran back the block to the GSU 43.
The block did not result in any points as Bethune-Cookman was forced to punt the football with 13:49 remaining.
On the next Grambling State possession, the Wildcats got the ball back as Claude Coleman was stripped of the football inside BCU territory.
Bethune-Cookman cashed in the turnover into seven points as the Wildcats marched 56 yards in eight plays with Jones completing a 9-yard touchdown pass to Kemari Averett to push the advantage to 27-19 with just over nine minutes remaining.
The Wildcats put the game away with 55 seconds left as Moghaddam booted a 21-yard field goal to give Bethune-Cookman the 30-19 lead.
BCU sealed the game moments later as Hawkins was intercepted for the pick six as Deas went 37 yards for the score with 23.4 seconds remaining as the Wildcats led 36-19.
Courtesy: Grambling State Athletics