Benedict beats Central State, 28-14 for second SIAC win
XENIA, Ohio – The Benedict College Tigers took advantage of six Central State turnovers and won their third game in a row with a 24-14 victory over the Marauders on Saturday afternoon at Xenia High School’s Doug Adams Stadium.
The Tigers intercepted Central State quarterback Trent Mays five times, with Robert Cummings and Traviontae Brown each picking off two throws each and Darryl Rolle picking off the other. Olajuwone Smith forced and recovered a fumble.
“I thought the secondary played well,” Benedict head coach Mike White said. “We had a couple of slip ups on coverages that we didn’t play well, but I thought the last couple of weeks we’ve played better. We actually should have had more (interceptions). I’m just glad they played better and glad the line played good. Coach (Demetrie) McCray (secondary coach) and coach (Ronnie) Baker (defensive coordinator) do a good job in getting us in what coverage we need to get in. The guys were on point all week in what we need to do against this team. I’m just glad with the execution overall.”
Benedict improves to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the SIAC. Central State falls to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the SIAC.
The Marauders completed 11-of-26 passes for 136 yards with one touchdown, coming on the game’s opening drive, to go along with the five interceptions. The Tigers held the Marauders to 104 yards rushing on 23 carries and one score on the ground. The Benedict defense held Central State to just 49 offensive plays in the game, and the Tigers dominated the time of possession, 40:41 to 19:19.
Despite having the ball for 79 offensive plays, the Tigers had some trouble getting points on the scoreboard. Benedict missed three field goals, with two of those blocked, and didn’t get on the board until 5:47 left in the first half on Rigoberto Tinoco’s 33-yard field goal to make it 7-3 in favor of the Marauders.
Benedict blocked a Central State punt, with James Wilson recording the block and Elroy Maloyd recovering, to give the Tigers the ball at the Central State 19-yard line with 2:34 left in the half. Dominique Harris completed a 20-yard pass to Danye Washington to give Benedict a 10-7 lead at the half.
After a Cummings interception and 22-yard return in the third quarter, the Tigers took over at the CSU 18-yard line. Harris and Washington hooked up again, this time for a 15-yard touchdown for a 17-7 Benedict lead with 9:13 left in the third quarter.
Benedict put together its longest drive of the afternoon early in the fourth quarter, marching 65 yards on 13 plays. Harris capped off the drive by stretching the ball over the end zone on a two-yard quarterback keeper. The Tigers kept the drive alive with a couple of key third-down conversions. Trini Charlton picked up four yards on a third-and-three, while Harris completed an 11-yard pass to Drelon Freeman on third-and-seven. Tinoco’s extra point made it 24-7 with 6:21 left in the game.
Central State answered quickly to try and stay in the game. The Marauders drove 76 yards on just four plays, getting a 32-yard pass and a 20-yard scoring run. Cummings had another potential interception called back due to a Benedict penalty.
The Maurders intercepted a Harris pass, Benedict’s only turnover of the game, and were driving again when Cummings sealed the game with his second interception with 43 seconds left in the contest.
“I’m happy we won,” White said. “We didn’t play well, but I’m just glad we got out with the victory. We’re still shooting ourselves in the foot. We had a lot of scoring opportunities and we could have had more points on the board in the first half. It’s been a tough short week, but we’ll get better.”
Harris completed 16-of-32 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Raheem Jennings led the ground attack with 62 yards on 15 carries, while Charlton added 50 yards on 13 carries. Freeman caught six passes for 65 yards, while Washington had two catches, both for touchdowns, for 35 yards. Smith led the defense with six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and the forced fumble and fumble recovery. Maloyd also had six tackles, with three of those tackles for loss.
The Tigers return home for a non-conference game against Virginia University of Lynchburg. Kickoff from Charlie W. Johnson stadium is 2 p.m.