Bulldogs Roll to 31-14 Victory Over Benedict College
By Anthony Vieira Jr.
After a 28-7 rout over Assumption College, the Bulldogs returned home to defeat the Benedict College Tigers 31-14. It was an impressive win that not only displayed offensive potency, but a defense that continues to shut down its opponents. The Bulldogs gained 473 yards of total offense en route to a victory in the home opener and a healthy 2-0 start (1-0 CIAA).
The Bulldogs’ defense certainly set the tone for this game. Less than three minutes into the first quarter, the defense forced a fumble and recovered. The offense did not immediately capitalize, but was able to score a few possessions later. QB Clifton Budd put the Bulldogs on top 7-0 with a 33-yard touchdown pass to WR Kevin James, with 5:33 remaining in the opening quarter.
In the second quarter at the 5:39 mark, BSU took a 10-0 lead over the Tigers after Michael Gagne nailed a 24-yard field goal. The score remained 10-0 until late in the third quarter, when QB Andre Johnson hit a wide open James Proctor in the end zone from 12 yards out. With the score at 17-0, the game appeared to be well in the hands of Bowie State. On the Tigers’ ensuing possession however, QB Harlon Samuels completed a 66-yard bomb to WR Mujihad Assad for a touchdown. This score cut the lead to 17-7 with 3:57 in the third quarter.
There appeared to be momentary hope for the Tigers, but the Bulldogs quickly took that away by putting together another successful scoring drive. WR Kendall Jefferson found the end zone from 9 yards out after another touchdown pass from QB Andre Johnson. The Bulldogs were now up 24-7 and were able to prevent Benedict College from scoring again until midway through the fourth quarter.
At 6:20 in the fourth, Tigers QB Samuels found Emmanuel Houston for a 9-yard touchdown, and again came within 10 points. But this would prove to be not enough as the Bulldogs DB Kenneth Turner picked up a fumble and raced 51 yards to the end zone. The aforementioned touchdown would ice the game, and thus the final score was 31-14.
Budd threw a touchdown pass in the first quarter, but struggled a bit. He was pulled in favor of QB Andre Johnson. Johnson was pretty solid, completing 12 out passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns. RB Ramono Flowers really shined in this game, as he rushed for 144 yards on 23 carries (that is an impressive 6.2 yards per carry!).
The Bulldogs played very well, but the game was far from perfect. There were numerous penalties in this contest. In fact, BSU was flagged 15 times for 180 yards. As for mistakes, the Bulldogs failed to convert a fake field goal in the second quarter, and missed one field goal in the third. Also, with 8:42 in the fourth the Bulldogs committed an interception that could have been costly.
“If we can eliminate the penalties and get better in the red zone, I believe we'll have a good year,” said head coach Damon Wilson after the game.Despite the mistakes, the Bulldogs absolutely dominated the Tigers on both sides of the ball. Currently, Bowie State has outscored its opponents 59-21, and the defense is playing at an extremely high level. At 2-0, the Bulldogs certainly appear to be one of the premier teams in the CIAA. Next week, BSU will return home for homecoming 2011 in a showdown with 0-2 Livingstone College.