Courtesy of Saint Augustine's Athletics
- For one half, 23rd-ranked Saint Augustine’s College had its hands full with winless Livingstone College on Saturday.
But the visiting Falcons took charge in the second half for a 33-0 football victory at Alumni Memorial Stadium. With the win, the Falcons tied a school record for season wins in the modern era. More importantly, the Falcons (8-1, 6-0 CIAA) will finish at least tied for first in the Southern Division with a showdown against arch-rival and division co-leader Shaw next Saturday at Broughton High School Stadium starting at 4 p.m. A victory would clinch the division title and send the Falcons to their first CIAA championship game which will be held Nov. 13. Both Saint Augustine’s College and Shaw are tied for first in the Southern Division at 6-0.
“We have to be ready to play [against Shaw],” Falcon Head Coach Michael Costa said. “It will be a good, little battle for Raleigh.”
The Falcons capitalized off two of the Blue Bears’ four second-half turnovers to surge ahead. Mark Hall (Sr./Temple Hills, Md.) recovered a fumble on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter which led to a 33-yard touchdown pass from Teddy Bacote (R-Fr./Hampton, Va.) to Tyron Laughinghouse (Soph./Greenville, N.C.) for a 7-0 lead. Dedrick Early (Jr./Warner Robins, Ga.) picked off a pass on the first play of the next series and ran untouched into the end zone from 35 yards to push the lead to 14-0. Alexander Tucker (Fr./Union, S.C.) tacked on a 32-yard field goal to make the score 17-0.
“The turnovers gave us the momentum we needed,” Costa said.
In the fourth quarter, Tucker added a 40-yard field goal, CIAA rushing leader Walter Sanders (Sr./Baltimore, Md.) scored on a five-yard run and Brian Richards (Fr./Waldorf, Md.) scored on a 52-yard punt return for the 33-0 final score.
The score was tied 0-0 at halftime despite the Falcons outgaining the Blue Bears (0-10, 0-6 CIAA) in total offensive yards (135-52) and winning time of possession (16:51-13:09). But the Blue Bears kept Sanders, the No. 2 leading rusher in Division II, in check, holding him to 27 first-half yards. Bacote did complete 10-of-17 passes for 97 yards and Jone’ Harris (Sr./Fairfield, Calif.) grabbed four passes for 49 yards but the Falcons were held scoreless at the half for the first time since Sept. 11 against Mars Hill.
“Livingstone was hungry,” Costa said. “They wanted to win while our guys started a little sluggish. I had a little talk with our players at halftime, and the guys decided they wanted to play.”
The second half was a different story, however, as the Falcons gained their seventh straight win and remained unbeaten in the division. Linebacker Steven Stanback (Sr./Temple Hills, Md.) led the Falcon defense to their first shutout this season. He amassed a game-high 12 tackles including three tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks. Anthony Harris (Jr./Raleigh, N.C.) added two sacks and two quarterback hurries.
Sanders finished the day with 93 yards on 32 carries, breaking his string of seven straight 100-yard games. He did score his 15th touchdown of the season which leads the league. Bacote, starting for the third straight game in place of injured Joaquin Green, was 14-of-26 for 191 yards and a score while Jamain Smith (Jr./Kenansville, N.C.) caught five passes for 86 yards. The Falcons ended the day with 293 total offensive yards compared to 78 for the Blue Bears.
Jamel Moore led the Blue Bears with 12 rushes for 48 yards. Bryan Aycoth had a team-high 11 tackles for the Blue Bears.