Benedict Falls 14-10 To Clark Atlanta

ATLANTA (BC SID) — The Benedict College Tigers had their first lead of the season, but were shut out in the second half as Clark Atlanta University rallied to take a 14-10 victory on Saturday in the Panthers’ Homecoming contest at Panther Stadium. The loss drops Benedict to 0-7 on the season, and 0-4 in the SIAC. Clark Atlanta moves to 2-5 overall and 2-3 in the SIAC. The Tigers took a 10-7 lead after Joshua Bradley recovered a Clark Atlanta fumble in the second quarter. On the very next play, Marcus Graham threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kendariss Brown, with Eduardo Hernandez adding the PAT. The Tigers took that lead into the locker room and maintained that advantage going into the fourth quarter. But on Benedict’s first drive in the fourth quarter, the drive stalled at their own 21-yard line. Punter Brian Curry shanked a 15-yard punt, giving the Panthers good field position at the Benedict 36. After a five-yard penalty on the Tigers, Clark Atlanta quarterback Charles King threw a deep pass to David Grace down the right sideline for a 31-yard touchdown to give the Panthers a 14-10 lead with 10:03 left in the game. The Tigers got the ball back and drove to the Clark Atlanta 32-yard line, where the drive stalled. On fourth-and-seven from the Clark Atlanta 32 with 7:30 to play and trailing by four points, the Tigers opted to go for a touchdown. Graham attempted a deep throw to Mujahid Assad, who was called for offensive holding. The Panthers got the ball back and managed to move the ball only 21 yards. Backup punter Vauchard Goodridge, normally a defensive lineman who was pressed into service when starting punter Austin Casillas was injured on a partially-blocked punt in the first half, then boomed a perfect punt, which was downed at the Benedict 1-yard line. With 2:43 left on the clock and 99 yards to go for the winning score, the Tigers quickly moved the ball to their own 36-yard line before Tyquan Bazemore fumbled after catching a screen pass. Clark Atlanta recovered and ran out the clock to secure the victory. “We got a little conservative on both sides of the ball,” said Benedict head coach James Woody. “We had that game. But we kind of laid down a little bit on both sides of the ball and special teams. When it was time to make a big play, we didn’t make those big plays. When it was time to get the three-and-out, they got the first down. When it was time to get the first down offensively, we didn’t get it. When it was time to make the field goal, we didn’t make the field goal. When it was time to sack the quarterback, we didn’t sack the quarterback. Those are things we’re learning from.” Clark Atlanta scored on its first possession of the game, driving 93 yards on 10 plays. Jay Carter ran in from 13-yards out to put the Panthers on the board 7-0 with 8:36 left in the first quarter. Hernandez got the Tigers on the scoreboard with a 28-yard field goal with 4:59 left in the second quarter to make it 7-3. The Panthers fumbled on the first play of their ensuing series, which led to Kendariss’ touchdown reception. The Panthers got the ball back with 50 seconds left in the half at the Benedict 30-yard line, and moved to the Benedict 9. The Panthers had time to go for a field goal, but took a shot at the end zone and failed, keeping the score 10-7 at the half. The Tigers got as close as the Clark Atlanta 31-yard line early in the third quarter, but Hernandez missed a 48-yard field goal attempt. That was as deep as the Tigers moved the ball in the second half. The Tigers rushed for a season-high 119 yards, with Christopher Johnson running for a season-high 86 yards. Benedict returns home next week to take on Morehouse College in Homecoming for the Tigers. Kickoff is 2 p.m. at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.

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