Saturday’s tiger fight wasn’t much of a fight. Benedict showed up with 35 points. Morehouse may have been preoccupied with the thousands upon thousands flocking towards the Spelhouse Homecoming tailgate because they brought a goose egg to the field.
Benedict’s defense roughed up Morehouse limiting the Maroon Tigers’ offense to 140 yards and keeping it scoreless. The hosts had one scoring opportunity, a 32-yard field goal attempt from Olubade Baker. The freshman’s kick was short of the upright.
“They don’t even look happy to be here,” quipped one of the Tigers captains as they walked towards midfield for the coin toss.
Despite the score, Benedict did not appear as polished as a 7-0 team with wins over half of the conference including Albany State (24-20). Call it complacency or playing down to the level of competition.
The visiting Tigers did look like world-beaters on their first possession. After the defense and a Morehouse penalty gifted Benedict with a short field, the offense took only five plays to reach the endzone. Tigers running back Zaire Scotland ripped off a 31-yard run to the M-Tigers 19. Jaylen Rush finished off the drive plunging the final 3 yards for a touchdown.
Benedict’s next three possession looked less imposing -two punts, a fumble, and a grand total of 11 yards of offense. Yikes.
The Tigers didn’t score again until a little over six minutes remaining in the first half. Freshman running back Deondra Duehart scored his only touchdown of the game from 5 yards out. Duehart gained 26 of his 47 rushing yards during the 10-play drive.
While the speakers from the tailgate area blared a combination of hip hop, house, R&B, and campaign pitches to vote for U.S. senatorial candidate Raphael Warnock and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams, the thrashing taking place inside of B.T. Harvey stadium had yet to begin.
Halftime was everything a homecoming show should be replete with big donation checks and a fire-hot performance from the House of Funk marching band and Mahogany-N-Motion (pass the grits).
The thrashing continued with the opening kickoff. Tayven Grice returned the kick 90 yards for the Tigers’ first touchdown of the second half.
Morehouse responded with a mini drive to midfield. Freshman running back Dallas Johnson popped a 15-yard run on the heels of a 7-yard run from sophomore running back Charles Daniels.
The drive stalled when sophomore defensive lineman Jayden Broughton sacked Morehouse quarterback Khamar Carlisle for a loss of 6 yards on a fourth-down conversion attempt.
Benedict’s defense sacked the quarterback four times and limited Morehouse’s offense to four third-down conversions on 17 attempts.
The Tigers added another touchdown in the third and one more early in the fourth. Dae’Mon Cherry recorded the longest reception of the game with a 33-yard catch down to the M-Tigers 7. Taylor capped the drive with his second touchdown of the game on the next snap.
Benedict moves a step closer to the SIAC Championship game with games remaining against Clark Atlanta University and nearby Allen University. Morehouse has two chances remaining to get in the win column against Albany State and Clark Atlanta.
- Dedric Starkes 11 tackles
- Olajuwon Smith 6 tackles
- Keeven Ross 6 tackles
- Jayden Broughton 2 sacks
- Dae’Mon Cherry 4 rec. 61 yards
- Jaylen Taylor 10 rushes 57 yards 2 Tds
- One to Watch: Junior DL Curtis Williams – Despite his wide frame the defender splits gaps easily. He had a season-high 8 tackles against Kentucky State and followed that up with a 6-tackle performance against Miles College.
- Dantez Simpson 10 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 QB hurry
- Carlos Dunovant 7 tackles
- Tyler Hunter 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks
- Diddier Attipou 4 tackles, 2 tackles for loss
- One to Watch: Freshman Dallas Johnson gained a season-high 53 yards against Tuskegee. He has three runs over 10 yards on the season and averages 4.3 yards per carry.