Courtesy of Bryce Hoyoski, Bethune-Cookman Athletics
Itta Bena, MS. – An offensive slugfest went the way of the Wildcats as they outlasted Mississippi Valley State, 45-35, Saturday evening in Itta Bena, MS
How It Happened
It was a tough start for the Wildcats (1-5, 1-2 SWAC), as a three-and-out turned into a blocked punt, resulting in a Mississippi Valley State (0-7, 0-4 SWAC) touchdown on their first offensive play. A 29-yard passing touchdown put the Wildcats in an early hole.
MVSU marched down the field again towards the end of the first quarter, but Omari Hill-Robinson flipped the field with a 97-yard pick-six, the first of his career. The PAT went wide, but the Wildcats cut the score to 7-6.
The Wildcats opened the second quarter with an 87-yard drive down the field capped off by a short touchdown run by Terry Lindsey, the first of his career. Marcus Riley converted the two-point conversion, and the Wildcats took a 14-7 lead.
The Wildcats padded onto their lead as the half ended on a short passing touchdown to from Jalon Jones to Kemari Averett that made it 21-7.
The Wildcats attempted an onside kick to open the second half. Things did not go as planned, as the Delta Devils recovered and found paydirt three plays later to cut it to 21-14.
The Wildcats answered any doubts quickly as Jalon Jones tossed a 73-yard bomb to Marcus Riley for the score that made it 28-14.
MVSU continued to push as the Delta Devils found the endzone once again on a 33-yard touchdown drive that made it 28-21.
Again, the Wildcats responded, as Darnell Deas worked his special teams magic, taking the kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown that made it 35-21.
The Delta Devils returned the favor, taking the resulting kickoff to the house to pull to within one score once again. Within just 30 seconds of time off the clock, three touchdowns were put on the board.
With just two minutes remaining, MVSU capped off a long touchdown drive to pull to within just three of B-CU.
Que’Shaun Byrd iced things with a short run to cap things off at 45-35, and Devuntray Hampton came up with an interception to end all MVSU hopes on the night.
- Hill-Robinson’s pick-six in the first quarter ties him for the SWAC interception lead with four. He ties last season’s total. 97-yards marks the third-longest interception return in program history.
- TE Kemari Averett has caught a pass in every game since joining the Wildcats. He extends his streak to 18 games. He also tallied his second touchdown of the season – he has 12 in his career at B-CU.
- Deas’s touchdown is his second kick return touchdown of the year, tying his output a season ago. 98 yards breaks Deas’ previous career long for a kick-return touchdown by a single yard.
- 45 points for B-CU is the programs highest-scoring effort since Sept. 8, 2018, when the Wildcats put up 79 on the NCCAA’s Virginia-Lynchburg.
The Wildcats are back on the road next week as they head out to Prairie View, Texas to take on the Panthers of Prairie View A&M University, Saturday, Oct. 29. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. EST.