Salisbury, N.C. – Johnson C. Smith University scored on plays of 76 and 30 yards and forced three Livingstone interceptions on their way to a 27-14 win in the historic 125th Anniversary of the playing of the first Black College Football game in history at the Commemorative Classic on a cool and overcast Saturday afternoon at Alumni Memorial Stadium in Salisbury, N.C.
Things started quickly for the Golden Bulls, as sophomore Tyki Lawson-Oates (Winston-Salem, N.C.) stepped in front of a Livingstone pass on the first play from scrimmage to record the interception. Three plays later, junior quarterback Terrance Ervin (Richmond, Va.) found tight end Randy Wiley (Columbia, S.C.) on a 12-yard screen pass to put JCSU up 7-0 at the 13:46 mark.
On the ensuing Blue Bear possession, senior safety Carlo Thomas tied the JCSU school record for career interceptions, picking off LC quarterback Xavier Longerbeam and returning it 30 yards for a touchdown. The point after attempt failed and JCSU led 13-0 with 11:14 remaining in the first.
Livingstone struck back when Thaddeus Bell found receiver Jordan Cartwright for a 17-yard reception that cut the JCSU lead to 13-6 with 14:20 left in the second quarter.
Senior receiver Gabriel Yuille (Baltimore, Md.) scored the first of his two touchdowns on the day when he pulled down a one-yard reception on a fade route from Ervin to push the JCSU lead to 20-6 with 2:58 before halftime.
With 44 seconds left in the third quarter, Yuille caught a pass up the middle between two Blue Bear defenders and was able to break two tackles and raced 76 yards for the score, putting JCSU in front 27-6.
Livingstone would not go quietly, as they put together an 11-play, 62-yard drive capped by a 10 yard pass reception from Andrew Gamble. The two-point conversion attempt was good and LC drew to within 27-14 with 11:32 to play.
Livingstone would take over following a JCSU punt with 7:35 remaining, the Blue Bears would drive to the JCSU 27 yard-line, but the JCSU defense held forcing an incompletion on a 4th-and 10 play, giving JCSU the ball with 4:10 left.
On the next JCSU play, Ervin fumbled and Livingstone recovered, giving LC new life with 4:03 left. Two plays later, Thomas picked off his second pass of the day, becoming the all-time interception leader in school history with 22.
The Golden Bulls would then run out to clock to take the 27-14 win.
Individually, Ervin rushed for a season-high 148 yards on 12 carries, including a long of 53. He also threw for 198 yards, completing 15-of-27 attempts while throwing for three touchdowns.
Yuille led all JCSU receivers, scoring twice and catching three passes for 103 yards.
Defensively, JCSU swarmed the Blue Bears all afternoon, racking up 14 tackles for loss (73 yards) and recording seven sacks (40 yards). Junior linebacker Marcel Toran (Washington, D.C.) led the way with 10 tackles including a sack and two tackles for loss. Senior defensive tackle Jamaal Tutt (Atlanta, Ga.) finished with eight tackles, 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. Safety Carlo Thomas finished with seven tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss and two interceptions, with one returned for a score.
Tyki Lawson-Oates also had his best game of his career, recording seven tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, an interception and a pass breakup.
The Golden Bulls complete the 2017 with a 2-8 overall record, 2-5 in CIAA play and a 2-3 mark in Southern Division play. Livingstone falls to 0-10, 0-7 and 0-5.
Courtesy: JCSU Athletics