In a thrilling showdown at Georgia State Stadium, Bethune-Cookman overpowered Jackson State 29 unanswered second-half points. Akevious Williams, the star quarterback, led the charge by delivering a remarkable passing touchdown and a spectacular rushing score. The Wildcats (1-0) left the field triumphant with a resounding 36-15 victory in the MEAC-SWAC Challenge on Sunday.
The momentum shifted in Bethune-Cookman’s favor midway through the third quarter when Trevor Merritt’s electrifying 50-yard interception return ignited the scoreboard. Williams, a force to be reckoned with, contributed to the team’s resurgence with a remarkable touchdown run, narrowing the deficit to a mere 15-14. The Wildcats’ determination remained unwavering as Taron Mallard secured a crucial 1-yard scoring catch, followed by a flawless 2-point conversion with only 2:33 remaining in the quarter. Bethune-Cookman had seized the lead for good.
The Wildcats continued their relentless pursuit of victory in the fourth quarter. LaDarrien Wilson’s powerful 5-yard rushing touchdown early in the period further solidified their command over the game. The grand finale came in the form of a spectacular 96-yard fumble return by Sam Marc, leaving the crowd in awe and cementing Bethune-Cookman’s victory at an emphatic 36-15.
While Jackson State (0-1) managed an impressive 512 total yards, their valiant efforts were hindered by four turnovers, two missed field goals, and two unsuccessful PAT attempts. Despite fielding three quarterbacks, including freshman Quincy Casey and Jalon Jones, who connected with Warren Newman for a 33-yard touchdown, the Tigers couldn’t withstand Bethune-Cookman’s relentless assault. Jones, however, faced adversity as he fell victim to both of Bethune-Cookman’s interceptions.
The MEAC now boasts a 10-4 series lead, with one game canceled due to inclement weather. Bethune-Cookman’s triumphant display of resilience and unstoppable momentum sends a clear message to their competitors, establishing them as a team to watch in the upcoming season.
All photos c. by Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports