COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Benedict Tigers, the nation’s third-toughest team to score on, put the defensive clamps on Miles College to take a 20-3 victory on Saturday in Charlie W. Johnson Stadium to remain unbeaten.
Despite mustering a season-low 132 yards of offense, the Tigers secured the win thanks to a defensive touchdown, a special teams touchdown, in addition to one score on offense. Benedict improves to 6-0 overall and remains 3-0 in the SIAC. Miles falls to 1-5 on the season and 1-2 in the SIAC. This game counted as a conference contest for Miles, but not for Benedict.
“Again, and I’m always going to say this, to God be the glory. And I mean that when I say that because wins are hard to come by,” Benedict head coach Chennis Berry said. “Especially against good football teams. I knew going into this game that Miles College had a good team. They’ve just been playing against some good competition. But at the end of the day, we accomplished the mission, and the mission every week is to go 1-0. Regardless how it happened, we found a way to go 1-0, so I’m proud of our football team for being resilient through it all.”
Benedict held Miles out of the end zone, their second opponent this season that failed to score a touchdown. The Golden Bears avoided a shutout with a 27-yard field goal by Jackson Spradlin with 9:43 left in the game.
After a scoreless first quarter, a Jared Eubanks punt pinned the Golden Bears at their own 8-yard line. On third down, Miles quarterback Jacob Millhouse’s pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and Jayden Broughton caught the loose ball and only had to return it two yards for a Benedict touchdown. Reginald Davis Rogers added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 12:04 left in the second quarter.
Later in the second quarter, the Golden Bears punted the ball, and Kendall Norman had a 77-yard punt return for a score to give Benedict a 13-0 lead.
“Kendall Norman is an explosive freshman for us,” Berry said. “Any time you put the ball in his hands, he has a chance to take it to the house.”
After a Miles punt, the Tigers went on offense and had their longest drive of the game, a six-play, 44-yard drive that resulted in a nine-yard scoring pass from John Lampley to Jayden Thomas.
“We didn’t play our best football game. But at the end of the day, we’re 1-0,” Berry said. “I thought their defense did a really good job. I thought our defense did a really good job. And I think our special teams did a really good job. There are three phases to football, and sometimes other phases have to play lights out. But ultimately, a win is a win.”
With the offense getting just eight first downs for the entire game, Eubanks was called on to punt eight times. He averaged 44.8 yards per punt, with a long of 62 yards, and had five punts downed inside the 20-yard line, including four downed inside the 10-yard line. A third-quarter punt was downed at the 1-yard line.
“Eubanks was definitely on his stuff today,” Berry said. “He did an amazing job today.”
The Tigers will travel next week to defending SIAC champions Albany State next week in a battle for the top spot in the East Division.
“We’ve got some things we’ve got to clean up, there’s no question about it,” Berry said. “You like cleaning up things after a win, though. We’ve got to get better, but that’s what good football teams do. We’re going to enjoy this win for 24 hours, then get ready for a good Albany State football team.”
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