Bethune-Cookman Holds Off Florida A&M In Florida Blue Florida Classic, 21-16
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats overcame a resilient Florida A&M team 21-16 after forcing a fumble in the waning moments of the Florida Blue Florida Classic at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
With the win, the Wildcats ended conference play undefeated, going 8-0 in the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference and ending the regular season 9-2 overall.
Wildcat running back Isidore Jackson received the B-CU MVP award, finishing with 77 yards rushing and a touchdown on 13 carries and 41 yards receiving. Jackson was surprised when he received the MVP award.
“I’m not so sure it should go to me,” said Jackson after game. “My offensive line did great for me and I did what a running back is supposed to do.”
Jackson has a season total of 992 yards rushing with at least one game left to try and reach the 1000-yard mark, but the junior is not worried about his own stats.
“It would be a great individual accomplishment but it’s not an individual sport,” Jackson said. “I’m just looking at as another football game.”
For FAMU, quarterback Damien Fleming won the FAMU MVP award for the second straight year, finishing with 166 yards passing and a touchdown. The Rattler play of the game came on third and 15 in the fourth quarter, when Fleming scrambled under intense pressure before hooking up with Dewayne Harvey for a 37-yard touchdown to make it a one score game.
“He’s the engine that moves that offense,” said FAMU interim head coach Earl Holmes. “A lot of decisions that he makes are about the team.”
With the win, the Wildcats are in pposition to earn home field advantage in the playoffs, but B-CU Head Coach Brian Jenkins says he is going to enjoy this victory first.
“Great win for our program,” Jenkins said after the game. “ We went against a tough FAMU football team that has had a lot of adversity in a short couple of weeks. To see those guys come out and play as hard and resilient as they played is truly impressive.”
The game’s official attendance was 32,317, the lowest since the game moved to Orlando in 1997. Reports prior to the game attributed the drop in attendance to the absence of the FAMU Marching 100. R&B artist Charlie Wilson filled in at halftime, putting on a memorable show for those in attendance.