It was a rough opening night for the Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls. They matched up with the Wingate University Bulldogs in the season opener for both teams.
Wingate got right to work, going 50 yards in 10 plays on the game’s opening to take an early 3-0 lead on a 43-yard McLean Robertson field goal. JCSU went three-and-out on their subsequent drive and following that, Wingate only needed 4 plays to go 57 yards, scoring on quarterback’s Shaw Crocker’s 21-yard touchdown pass to JT Stokes to give the Bulldogs a 10-0 lead.
Wingate’s next score was set up by JCSU having to punt out of their own end zone. A 16-yard return gave the Bulldogs excellent field position at the Smith 27. The Bulldogs would be inside the 10-yard line, but the drive would stall, forcing them to settle for a 23-yard Robertson, giving Wingate a 13-0 lead headed into the half.
An opening three and out from JCSU was answered by a four-play, 83-yard drive in only 1:31, with most of that accounted for by Domineke McNeill 67-yards scamper down to the JCSU 2. Crocker would take it in to the endzone, with the extra point pushing the Wingate advantage to 20-0.
Kam Johnson forced a safety when he knocked the football out of the hands of Smith’s quarterback and the ball when through the end zone, giving the Bulldogs a 22-0 lead.
One their next possession, WIngate would extend the lead to 29-0 when Shaw connected with BJ Shaw, who was wide open, on a 25-yard touchdown pass.
Wingate would finish the game’s scoring on the first drive of the fourth quarter when a Nijere Peoples 4-yard touchdown run finished off a 7 play, 48-yard drive. Robertson’s extra point made the score 36-0.
It was a rough night for the JCSU offense. The Golden Bulls’ offense was ground to a halt by the Bulldogs’, as the Smith offense was only able to generate a mere 6 first downs and a paltry 123 yards of offense. The Bulldog defense only allowed a minuscule 0.6 yards per rush and only 2.2 yards per offensive the play the Golden Bulls ran.
The Bulldogs will take on Fayetteville State September 8 with a 6 P.M. kickoff time. Johnson C. Smith also returns to action on September 8 when they will host Benedict College. Kickoff is set for 6 P.M.