|Bethune-Cookman’s Rodney Scott fights for yards against the North Carolina Central. BCU won 42-17, taking sole possession of first place in the MEAC.|
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – North Carolina Central University held a slim three-point lead midway through the third quarter, but Bethune-Cookman University scored 28 unanswered points to end the Eagles’ four-game win streak with a 42-17 victory inside Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach, Fla.
NCCU falls to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in conference action, while Bethune-Cookman improves to 6-2 overall and 5-0 in the MEAC.
NCCU redshirt junior quarterback Jordan Reid threw touchdown passes to Detwan Robinson and Decona Roberts in the first half to go into the locker room with the score tied at 14-14.
On the first drive of the second half, the Eagles moved the ball inside the B-CU 1-yard line, but committed a false start penalty on third down and had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by sophomore Oleg Parent to give NCCU a 17-14 edge at 7:23 of the third quarter.
Bethune-Cookman responded rushing for 63 yards on five consecutive run plays, capped by a 8-yard scamper by Rodney Scott, to take a 21-17 advantage at 5:28 of the third quarter.
After the Wildcats forced an Eagle punt, running back Isidore Jackson took the first play 93 yards to the end zone to put the home team up 28-17.
NCCU posted a 12-play, 52-yard drive in an attempt to answer the challenge, but Parent’s 36-yard field goal try was blocked to keep the gap at 11 points.
With less than six minutes remaining in the game and needing two scores, NCCU had to force the action, which resulted in two interceptions and a fumble by the Eagles in their final three possessions.
Jackson scored his second touchdown of the game with 4:14 remaining to put the Wildcats up 35-17, then B-CU opted to post more points on the scoreboard with a 1-yard touchdown run by Angelo Cabrera with 58 seconds remaining.
Jackson finished the evening with 158 rushing yards to help the Wildcats amass 443 yards of total offense, including 274 yards on the ground.
NCCU recorded 234 total yards, including 154 yards through the air by Reid on 15-of-28 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Running back Arthur Goforth collected 142 all-purpose yards, including a team-high 43 rushing yards, 28 receiving yards on a team-best four catches, and 71 kickoff return yards.
Redshirt freshman safety Ryan Smith tallied at game-high 12 tackles (8 solo) and a fumble recovery to lead the Eagles. NCCU senior lineman Stephen Young and junior linebacker Tazmon Foster contributed nine tackles each, including a shared sack. Young, who entered the contest ranked fifth in NCAA Division I-FCS in tackles for loss, added 2.5 more to his season total, which now stands at 13.0 takedowns behind the line of scrimmage. Malik Cromartie chipped in seven stops and an interception for the Eagles.
NCCU returns to action on Nov. 3 when the Eagles host Delaware State University for homecoming at 2 p.m. inside O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
Video: Check out BCU’s Isidore Jackson’s 93 yard TD run against North Carolina Central.