Home Winning Streak In Tact: Bucs Tackle Johnson C. Smith, 44-20September 15, 2007
By CSU Sports Information
|Sophomore Michael Jefferson|
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Buccaneers won their 11th-straight home game, Saturday, with a 44-20 beating of Johnson C. Smith at Buccaneer Field in front of an opening-day crowd of 2,384. The Bucs haven't lost at home since Oct. 1, 2005, when they fell 27-22 to Howard.
After rushing for less than 50 yards in the first two games, the Buccaneers pounded out 200 yards on the ground, with Eli Byrd tallying 184 through the air. It was the first time CSU has gained 200 rushing since Nov. 5, 2005, when they had 200 against Gardner-Webb.
With the first 100-yard rushing game of the season, and of his career, Michael Jefferson led the way for CSU, gaining 104 yards and three touchdowns on 15 attempts. DeMarcus Moon had seven carries for 74 yards and scored his first-career touchdown.
Byrd completed 18-29 through the air, for 184 yards and one touchdown on a 24-yard pass to tight end Ryan Ard.
With eight tackles, Matt Bach led the way for CSU, while Okeba Rollinson and Jada Ross each had seven. It was the first time that Ross hasn’t led the team in tackles since the Nov. 11 matchup against Liberty last season. Ross is now seven tackles shy of tying the Big South record for career stops. The Bucs had three sacks and seven tackles for loss, as well as forcing four turnovers.
Carl Richardson took the majority of the snaps under center for JCSU, completing 10 of his 21 passing attempts for 103 yards. Ryan Carter attempted six passes, completing three, but throwing two interceptions, one to Josh Warrior, and one to Jon Carmon. Fred Williams led JCSU, and all tacklers, with 14 stops.
After a pair of punts to start the game, CSU struck first, seven minutes in, with a 35-yard run by Jefferson. Jefferson followed it up midway through the second quarter, finding pay-dirt again for a second time, putting CSU up 14-0.
An 85-yard kickoff return by Marco Kirven for JCSU set up a two-play, 11-yard drive by the Bulls to cut it to a 14-7 game.
With what looked to be the final possession of the first half for CSU, the Bucs’ Nick Ellis nailed a 32-yard field goal to put CSU up by 10, 17-7 with just 22 ticks on the clock. A nice drive by JCSU set up a field goal attempt of their own with no time on the clock. Freshman Gerald Stevenson broke through the line on the attempt, though, blocking it right into the hands of Philip Ashley, who returned it 68-yards for a touchdown, giving CSU the 24-7 halftime advantage.
The 68-yard touchdown was the second time in as many years that CSU has returned a blocked kick for points, as Alexius Ferguson recovered a blocked punt last year against V.M.I., going 15-yards for a touchdown.
Jefferson found the endzone for the third time just over a minute into the second half, getting in from seven yards out to put CSU up 31-14.
Johnson C. Smith would answer with 14-straight points, started on a 12-yard interception return by Randy Brown. On the next drive, Carl Richardson scampered in for a seven-yard touchdown run to make it 31-20, after the extra-point attempt was blocked.
The Bucs closed the game with two more scores as Byrd and Ard connected on a weak-side pass to get in from 24-yards out late in the third. The only points of the fourth quarter came on a 34-yard run by Moon, making it 44-20 after freshman John Paglia’s point-after attempt was also blocked.
Charleston Southern heads back on the road for the next two weeks, facing FBS opponent Hawaii next week and North Greenville the following week. Next week’s game will kickoff just after midnight on the East coast. Related Item: Box Score