SALISBURY, NC — The Livingstone College Blue Bears returned home and picked up a big win on Saturday night, beating perennial CIAA power Bowie State 31-18 in the 2023 West End Classic.
A crowd of 2,753 fans in Alumni Memorial Stadium witnessed LC beat BSU for the first time since 2014.
The Blue Bears forced five turnovers and led from start to finish. Marcus Drish led the Blue Bears passing attack, completing 18 of his 32 attempts for 224 yards and four touchdowns. Drish’s most prolific target in the ballgame was Davontay Deloatch, who caught three scoring passes. Ben Coates Jr. got in on the action catching one scoring pass. Drish’s most consistent receiver was Matthew Henery catching eight passes for 130 yards.
Jaden Echols was a dominant force in the game. He led the defense with 12 total tackles (six solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, and a sack. Ty Conley recorded eight total tackles, (five solo), one tackle for loss, and a sack. Kobe Pringle recorded six total tackles (two solo), two total tackles for loss, and two sacks.
LC scored first on a two-yard flip pass to take a 7-0 over Bowie State with 1:46 left in the first quarter. Livingstone opened a 7-0 lead, Bowie State got on the scoreboard with 14:24 left in the second quarter to narrow the margin to 7-6. Livingstone scored to increase its lead to 17-6 after a 5-yard touchdown reception and a 47-yard field goal, Bowie State scored again to narrow the deficit and make it a 17-12 game in the fourth quarter.
The Blue Bears would score two more times in the fourth stanza to extend its lead 31-12 before the Bulldogs responded with a touchdown with 3:00 left in regulation lead. The Blue Bears would emerge victorious ending the game with a 31-18 lead.
“The entire coaching staff is extremely proud of the resilience and tenacity of this team,” LC head coach Sean Gilbert said after the game. “Each week working hard and making the necessary adjustments to be successful.”
Livingstone College improved to 1-4 on the season and 1-2 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. LC will begin its division play when it faces Winston-Salem State University (2-3 overall and 2-1 CIAA) on Saturday, October 7th in Bowman Gray Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
– Article submitted by Chanel Quick, Livingstone College