JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Livingstone beat Edward Waters 23-20 on Saturday, a breakthrough win that interim head coach Daryl Williams is confident will be the first of many.
“I’m used to winning and my assistants are used to winning, so I’m just happy for our players right now because they’ve been beat up from a lot of years of losing,” Williams said. “I’m also extremely happy for our president (Dr. Jimmy Jenkins) and athletic director (Andre Springs). As much support as they’ve given this program, they deserve a winner.”
Williams emphasized a good start. This time the Blue Bears got one. They scored first on a field goal by Leonardo Manzo.
With the score 3-3 in the second quarter, Andrew Fox came up with a fumble recovery for the Blue Bears, a turnover that set up the offense for its first touchdown of the afternoon. Anthony Green got the six on a short run.
“Our defense stepped up the occasion and forced turnovers today and Green did a great job at running back with Justin Forte banged up,” Williams said.
It was 10-10 when Livingstone kept a drive alive with a faked punt and a surprise pass for a first down from Kris Hemphill to Kenneth White. Drew Powell passed 25 yards to Jalen Hendricks for the touchdown that gave the Blue Bears a 16-10 lead.
Livingstone led 16-13 at halftime.
Neither team scored in the third quarter. Fox had an interception in the end zone. White forced a fumble and recovered it.
“Our defense kept bending, but it wouldn’t break,” Williams said.
The homestanding Tigers (0-4) scored on the first play of the fourth quarter to lead 20-16.
Livingstone’s offense answered with a decisive, 10-play, 60-yard drive to regain the lead. Powell ran for the TD from the 2. Manzo’s PAT gave the Blue Bears (1-2) a 23-20 lead.
Two 15-yard penalties helped Edward Waters drive late in the fourth quarter, and the Tigers moved into position for a 36-yard field goal that would’ve tied it.
Williams called timeouts to ice the kicker and to set up a block attempt, and Henry Horne came through with the block. Justin Edwards made the recovery.
Edward Waters threatened once again in the final seconds, but Livingstone held on for the victory.
“It feels unbelievable to get that first win and get the monkey off our backs,” Williams said. “Today, we met the standard.”
Livingstone faces another long road trip this week. The Blue Bears will travel to Pennsylania to take on the Lincoln Lions, a CIAA opponent, at 1 p.m. next Saturday.
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