Benedict Falls To Limestone In Overtime, 20-17

GAFFNEY, S.C. (WOLO) – The Limestone Saints scored on a 5-yard pass in overtime to take a 20-17 victory over the Benedict College Tigers in a non-conference football game Saturday night at The Reservation stadium.

The Saints almost had the game won in regulation. With the game tied at 14, quarterback Ivan Corbin Jr. fumbled the ball on third down and 20 seconds left as the Saints were setting up for a potential game-winning field goal. Big defensive noseguard Aaryn Guy recovered the fumble and the Tigers celebrated by going to overtime.

Benedict went on offense first in overtime and moved to the Limestone 7-yard line before Tory Mimbs kicked a 24-yard field goal for a brief 17-14 lead. Limestone went on offense next and an 11-yard pass and a holding penalty on Benedict gave the Saints a first-and-goal at the 7-yard line. After a 2-yard run by Corbin, he rolled out and threw across the field to D’Anta Fleming in the end zone for the game-winning score.

“It’s a disappointing loss,” said Benedict head coach Mike White. “I love the way our guys fought tonight. It’s just a tough loss that’s hard to swallow.”

The game was a defensive stalemate for most of the first half. The two teams combined for just 78 yards in the first quarter, and the trend continued into the second quarter until the final two minutes. The Saints recovered a Benedict fumble with 3:49 left in the half and drove 38 yards on eight plays. Corbin threw a 15-yard pass to Fleming for the game’s first score and a Limestone 7-0 lead with 1:16 left in the half. Benedict’s Johnny Willis returned the kickoff 50 yards to give the Tigers the ball at the Limestone 41-yard line. Benedict quarterback Dominique Harris scrambled 41 yards on the first play from scrimmage and Mimbs added the extra point to tie the game with 55 seconds left in the first half.

Late in the third quarter, Reubyn Walker sacked Corbin for a 13-yard loss, just shy of the goal line. The Saints punted and Benedict took over at the 40. Benedict went for it on fourth-and-three from the 33 and Harris picked up nine yards for the first down. With a first down at the 11, Harris ran towards the end zone but the ball was knocked out of his hands. Harris chased down the ball and recovered his own fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, giving Benedict a 14-7 lead with 13:35 left in regulation.

The Saints took the ensuing possession and had their best offensive series of the night, driving 89 yards on 13 plays with Corbin completing a 2-yard pass to Fleming. Fleming finished with 12 receptions for 73 yards and three touchdowns. The Saints kept the drive alive when Corbin completed a 42-yard pass to Vincent Smith on third-and-30.

Benedict punted the ball back to Limestone on the next offensive series, and the Saints had another long drive. The big play of the drive was a 37-yard pass from Corbin to Smith on another third down.

“They made one or two more plays than we did and that’s the difference,” White said. “I know it was third and long and we had them backed up and that was a huge play. They hurt us on the big play with the deep ball. Hats off to Limestone. They made the plays and we didn’t.”

The Saints were facing a third down at the Benedict 4-yard line and the clock was winding down. The Saints were trying to line up for a potential game-winning field goal when Corbin fumbled and Guy recovered.

“I love the way our guys fought. It’s encouraging. We’re a better football team and we fought hard for four and a half quarters here. It’s just disappointing how it ended.”

Harris led the Tigers with 79 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while completing 11-of-24 passes for 92 yards.

“In our execution offensively, we’ve still got a ways to go there,” White said. “Those were kind of broken plays and he (Harris) made something out of them. We were pleased with the way he played and made some plays for us on those scrambles.”

Corbin led the Saints by completing 22-of-34 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns.

Xavier George led the Benedict defense with nine total tackles, while Charles Williams added eight, including a sack.

Benedict is back at home next week to take on SIAC foe Lane College at 6 p.m. in Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.

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