Saturday, April 30, 2016

Maroon wins Bethune-Cookman spring game

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Redshirt freshman quarterback Akevious Williams manufactured a last-minute scoring drive to help Maroon to a 20-17 come-from-behind victory over Gold in the sixth annual Maroon and Gold Spring Showcase at Municipal Stadium on Saturday, April 30.

The 16-yard touchdown from Williams to Jaymonte McLeod with 44 seconds remaining capped off an 80-yard march that allowed the Madison, Florida native to rebound from two early interceptions and end both the game and spring practice on a positive note.

From the start of spring practices, a friendly rivalry between quarterbacks Williams and redshirt sophomore Larry Brihm, Jr. has developed with a good-natured talk between the two Sunshine State products.

“I’m going to until I can’t talk anymore,” said Williams, who finished 11 of 18 for 147 yards, including a 6-yard score to Karim Bryant in the second quarter. “All I heard was Gold was going to do this, and Gold was going to do that. Now I have bragging rights.”

Williams, who might have had the better luck of draw when the Wildcats’ loaded receiving corps was dispersed among the two teams, set the tone on the final drive with a 50-yard strike to Jawill Davis. A 14-yarder to Jaime Wilson followed, then McLeod bounced off a Gold defender and found the right side of the end zone for the score.

“When I went back, I didn’t think I was going to hit Jawill [Davis]”, Williams said. “Then I saw he had 1-on-1 coverage and I just took my chances. Once he caught it, I knew it was going to be a big play.

“Finishing the game like that is a big confidence booster,” Williams added. “But I know it’s about getting better each and every drive.”

Brihm, the only returning quarterback with game experience from the 2015 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title season, completed 14 of 28 passes for 167 yards for the Gold team in a consistent effort.

The Gold squad scored on all three red zone possessions, the first two off a turnover and short punt, then a solid 80-yard match in which Brihm connected with Ja-Quan Lumas for 35 yards and Courtney Lowery for 22.

“He [Williams] pushes me every day, I push him,” said Brihm, whose touchdown pass was a tipped 5-yarder to Kendon Davis in the first quarter. “I feel like he’s going to be good and I’m going to be good for the upcoming season.”

A slow start from both teams’ offense gave early attention to the defense, most notably Diquan Richardson, who registered the two picks of Williams for the Gold.

Richardson’s coming off a solid season – he was the fourth leading tackler. But with the secondary needing to replace two starters, he’s trying to elevate himself as a playmaker.

“I’ve had some goals, and today was about showing my work,” Richardson said. “My line got pressure on the quarterback, so I’m grateful for my teammates.”

Other game highlights include the following:
- Uriel Hernandez handled kicking duties for both teams and went 3-3 on field goals and 4-4 on PATs
- Wilson had 88 yards on three catches
- Romary Corneille had an interception that set up the first Gold touchdown.
- Taivion Butler had two sacks

Other than the slow start, head coach Terry Sims, recently completing his first year at the helm in Daytona Beach, liked what he saw.

“There was a lot of enthusiasm, and a lot of guys trying to make plays,” Sims said. “That fourth quarter was Wildcats football.”

The official Bethune-Cookman football schedule is now available at

The 2016 B-CU Football schedule includes five (5) home games at Municipal Stadium, including the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. The Wildcats welcome Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) opponent Alcorn State for the annual event presented by ESPN. The date is set for Sunday, Sept. 4, with a time to be determined later. The schedule also includes home games against Tennessee State (Sept. 17), North Carolina Central (Oct. 1), North Carolina A&T (Oct. 15) and Delaware State (Oct. 29). The regular season concludes November 19, with the Florida Blue Florida Classic.

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