Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) suffered a heartbreaking 20-14 loss to Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) in front of a homecoming crowd of 10,187 at Daytona Beach’s Municipal Stadium on Oct. 9.
The game was mostly a defensive battle as both teams struggled to score.
MVSU scored 13 unanswered fourth-quarter points.
B-CU led 14-7 at halftime but failed to score in the second half.
“We left too many plays on the field. We didn’t execute enough on offense and didn’t get enough stops on defense,” said Terry Sims, B-CU’s head football coach.
Caleb Johnson ran for 96 yards with two fourth-quarter scores, including the game-tying and game-winning scores for the Delta Devils.
Quarterback Devin Black threw for 307 yards with two touchdowns and ran for 74 more in his first career start for the B-CU Wildcats.
“I just want to be ready when my number is called and help the team win games. I felt confident and trusted my coaches and the players around me. We just came up short,” Black said.
Bethune-Cookman (0-6, 0-3) was in position for a game-winning drive when Black was stopped on a run at the one-yard line on a fourth and goal from the four with 5:05 to play.
“We were just being aggressive. We felt we had the right personnel and right play to score, but we just didn’t execute,” commented Sims.
Mississippi Valley State (2-3, 1-1) took the lead at 20-14 on a 14-yard touchdown run by Johnson with 14:57 remaining.
The one-play drive was set up when MVSU’s Andrew Bloodsaw intercepted Black.
The Delta Devils dominated time of possession 38 minutes to the Wildcats’ 17.
The Wildcats outgained the Delta Devils 479 to 360 in total yards.
MSVU was much better on third down converting 8-of-15 to B-CU's 2-of-10.
The Wildcats were penalized eight times for 64 yards. The Delta Devils had four penalties for 20 yards.
Both teams also left four points off the board in the kicking game. B-CU missed a field goal and an extra point. MVSU missed a field goal and botched a snap on an extra-point attempt.
Que’shaun Byrd caught seven passes for 145 yards and ran for 50 more while Kemari Averett caught five passes for 139 yards with a touchdown for B-CU.
Jalani Eason threw for 137 yards with a touchdown and ran for 56 more and Datavious Porter had two catches for 41 yards and a touchdown for MVSU.
Untareo Johnson led the Wildcats defensively with 14 total tackles.
Johnson stated, “They didn’t do anything; we weren’t prepared. I had 14 tackles, but it wasn’t enough. We just have to make plays. We have to play better and get off the field.”
The game was played with a new jumbotron scoreboard at Municipal Stadium.
High school bands that participated in the homecoming parade performed following the game.
Mississippi Valley State tight ends coach Sean Washington is from New Smyrna Beach. He was a standout at both Atlantic and New Smyrna high schools. He was also the head football coach briefly at Pine Ridge.
Bethune-Cookman hosts Prairie View A&M (4-1, 3-0) on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Mississippi Valley State will host Alcorn State (3-2, 2-1).