Tigers roll over Allen, 54-21 to finish regular season undefeated

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – Saturday, the Benedict College Tigers achieved their royal position as they wrapped up the school’s first-ever undefeated regular season with a 54-21 victory over rival Allen University at Westwood High School.

“I’m just so proud of the guys for the hard work and dedication they put in,” Benedict head coach Chennis Berry said. “It’s not easy being 10-0. We’re just grateful the young men bought in to the process, and that’s chop wood, carry water and fall in love with the process. It’s the journey we fall in love with, not the end goal. And we fell in love with the journey – those early mornings, those late nights, those study halls, going in the weight room. All those things you’ve got to be able to do in order to put this all together.”

The ninth-ranked Tigers jumped out to a 26-7 lead at the half, then scored four touchdowns in the third quarter to build a 54-7 lead to improve to 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the SIAC. Allen, now 1-7 overall and 0-6 in the SIAC, scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, including a 93-yard punt return.

The Tigers will take on Tuskegee University next Saturday at 2 p.m. at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium for the SIAC Championship.

“We’re here at Benedict at the right time,” Berry said, expanding on how the Bible verse related to their football success. “It’s our time. And we’re grateful to find a way to go 1-0 for 10 weeks in a row. It is our time. God doesn’t make mistakes. We’re just grateful for that. The good Lord has been good to us with so much favor in this program.”

The Tigers racked up 467 yards of total offense, which included a season-high 338 passing yards. The defense intercepted a pair of passes, forced a fumble, recorded four sacks, and held Allen to 4-of-13 (31 percent) on third-down conversions.

Benedict scored on its first offensive series, as Eric Phoenix completed a 29-yard pass to Reginald Harden. Phoenix finished the day completing 23-for-31 passes for a season-high 240 yards and three touchdowns. Harden finished with three receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns, catching a 79-yard touchdown pass from John Lampley in the third quarter.

On their next offensive series, Kendall Norman scored on a nine-yard run to give the Tigers a 12-0 lead. Allen struck back quick with a 79-yard touchdown pass on their very next play to cut the lead to 12-7.

Later in the first quarter, Dedrick Starkes returned an interception 84 yards, but was brought down just short of the goal line. Jaylen Taylor scored on a one-yard run for a 19-7 lead.

The Tigers went on an 11-play, 64-yard drive in the second quarter, with Phoenix throwing an eight-yard touchdown pass to Billy Pierre to give Benedict a 26-7 lead at the half.

Benedict came out of the locker room and scored four touchdowns in the third quarter. Phoenix completed a 51-yard pass to Jayden ThomasJaylen Taylor scored on a two-yard run; Harden caught the 79-yard pass from Lampley; and Da’Von Smith scored on a one-yard run.

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