SALISBURY, N.C. (Oct. 6) – Saint Augustine’s University scored nine points in four seconds late in the fourth quarter to beat Livingstone College 26-15 in the CIAA Southern Division opener at Alumni Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
The Falcons remain in the thick of the Southern Division race with their second straight win. They are one-half game out of first place at 2-1 in the division with key games coming up against Winston-Salem State University and division leader Fayetteville State University in the next two weeks.
“We are getting better every game,” Falcons’ Head Coach Tim Chavous said. “We believe we can win and we’re not afraid of anybody.”
Defense and special teams propelled the Falcons past the Blue Bears, who lost on their Homecoming Day to fall to 1-2 in the division. Both units combined to score 16 of the Falcons’ 26 points including the last nine points of the contest.
The Falcons nursed a 17-15 lead before pulling away in the fourth quarter. The spurt started when Sean Smith (Sr./Valdosta, GA) boomed a 51-yard punt to pin the Blue Bears back on their one-yard line. Two plays later, defensive lineman Keywan Morgan (Sr./LaGrange, NC) deflected a pass that a Blue Bear offensive lineman caught in the Livingstone end zone. Defensive lineman Desmond Quinerly (Jr./Raleigh, NC) tackled the offensive lineman for a safety, pushing the Falcons’ lead to 19-15 with 2:07 left in the game.
The Blue Bears (2-3 overall) attempted an onside kick, but Shymere Scott (Fr./Kannapolis, NC) was Johnny on the spot. He caught the ball on a high bounce and ran untouched 30 yards for the game-clinching touchdown with 2:03 remaining on the clock. Smith kicked the extra point for the final score of 26-15.
The Falcons (2-3 overall) won after falling behind 9-7 at halftime. They took a 14-9 lead on a 32-yard quarterback scamper by John Darby IV (Fr./Detroit, MI) and Smith’s extra point. Smith added a 39-yard field goal to increase the Falcons’ margin to 17-9 in the third quarter.
The Blue Bears struck first in the opening quarter, kicking a 32-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. The Falcons’ defense then set the tone in the second quarter when Sidney Lawson (So./Charlotte, NC) intercepted a pass and weaved his way in the end zone for a touchdown. Smith’s extra point put the Falcons ahead 7-3. Livingstone retook the lead right before halftime on a 66-yard pass play for a score.
Linebacker Joseph Harris, Jr. (Fr./Jacksonville, FL) and a stout defensive front led the Falcons to victory. Harris amassed a game-high 17 tackles, which was four off the modern school single-game record of 21 set in 2006 by former All-America linebacker Kevin Jones, who is the Falcons’ defensive coordinator.
A rotation of defensive linemen consisting of Morgan, Quinerly, Tyler Trexler (So./Chesapeake, VA), Dominick Bryant (Fr./Snow Hill, NC), Teoz Mauney (Jr./Salisbury, NC) and Brandon Jackson (Fr./Washington, NC) held the Blue Bears to three yards per carry. They also harassed both Livingstone quarterbacks, who competed only 13 of 34 passes, threw two interceptions and were sacked once.
“Our goal is to be the best unit on the field,” Morgan said about the defensive line. “The game starts in the trenches.”
Defensive back Stephen Edwards, Jr. (Jr./Kissimmee, FL) added eight tackles and Demonte Hines (So./Washington, DC) contributed seven tackles and one interception. Jackson also had seven tackles for the Falcons.
Offensively, Jeremiah Miller (Jr./Miami, FL) rushed for 89 yards. Smith averaged 42.1 yards per punt and placed four punts inside the Blue Bears’ 20-yard line. The veteran kicker booted two punts over 50 yards.
For Livingstone, Anthony Faraimo had three receptions for 89 yards and one touchdown. Armond Cox collected 10 tackles for the Blue Bears.
The Falcons hit the road for the third straight week on Saturday, Oct. 13. They visit perennial CIAA power Winston-Salem State at Bowman Gray Stadium in a pivotal Southern Division game at 1:30 p.m.
— Office of Sports Information