Tigers shut down Lane, 54-7

JACKSON, Tenn. – The 16th-ranked Benedict College Tigers put up another dominating defensive performance, holding the Lane Dragons to just 89 yards of total offense in a 54-7 victory on Saturday afternoon in a SIAC contest.

The Tigers gave up 96 yards through the air, but held the Dragons to negative seven yards rushing, thanks to six sacks.

“I’m very, very proud of our defense,” said Benedict head coach Chennis Berry. “What a day they had. They answered the call. I challenged them and asked them who they would be when adversity strikes. They played really good ball at all three levels – defensive line, linebackers and secondary. They had an amazing game defensively.”

The Tigers blocked a punt that resulted in a touchdown, and Troy Frazier had a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown. Benedict held Lane to 2-of-14 on third down conversions. Loobert Denelus had three sacks.

“We’re grateful for the win,” Berry said. “Any time you go on the road and get a convicing win, that’s a good thing.”

Offensively, the Tigers rushed for 171 yards on 39 carries. Isreal Rhodes led the way with 61 yards on seven carries and a touchdown. Quarterback Aeneas Dennis completed 20-of-31 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Caden High caught five passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.

“Offensivey, we moved the ball at will up and down the field,” Berry said. “It was another efficient day by Aeneas Dennis, who completed 65 percent of his passes.”

The Tigers opened the game with a one-yard touchdown run by Noah Zaire Scotland to cap off a nine-play, 59-yard drive. The Dragons answered  by recovering a fumbled punt and then scored on a 17-yard pass. That was the first touchdown Benedict has given up this season.

“We knew we had to bring the juice, and guys answered the bell. Very proud of the football team and found a way to come back 1-0,” Berry said.

The Tigers increased the lead to 26-7 by halftime, then opened the second half with another rushing touchdown by Scotland for a 33-7 lead. Dennis then had a pair of passing touchdowns – 26 yards to High and 6 yards to Rashad McCain to make it 47-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers engineered a 10-play, 72-yard drive to open the fourth quarter, with Rhodes scoring on a one-yard rush to cap off the scoring.

“The scary part is, we haven’t played our best game yet,” Berry said. “The standard of this program is our best, and we haven’t gotten there yet, but we’re headed in the right direction.”

The Tigers travel to take on Chowan University in a non-conference contest next Saturday. Kickoff from Murfreesboro, N.C. is 1 p.m. and will be available to watch on FloSports.

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