• 59°

Livingstone opens at Benedict today

Livingstone kicking off season

Armond Cox


Palmetto Capital City Classic

Johnson Stadium — Columbia, S.C. — Today, 5 p.m.

Radio: Available www.kiss-1031.com

Live stats:  www.benedicttigers.com

2016 RECORDS: Livingstone, 2-8. Benedict, 5-6.

   COACHES: Livingstone — Daryl Williams’ record is 15-24 in four seasons. Four seasons prior to Williams taking over, the Blue Bears were 2-38, so progress has been made. Benedict — Mike White third year, 5-16, at Benedict after 15 years at Albany State (112-51, six SIAC championships).

    LAST YEAR: Bendict won the Palmetto Capital City Classic over Livingstone, 5-3. Both teams had trouble moving the ball on offense: The Blue Bears had just 119 total yards, including just 8 yards rushing; The Tigers managed 188 yards, most of which came through the air. Livingstone grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, but Benedict matched the field goal in the second period and also added a safety for the final margin. There was no scoring in the second half.

SERIES:   Saturday markes the 18th time since 1922 that Benedict and Livingstone have met on the gridiron.

The Tigers hold a 10-5-2 record in the series.

KEY PLAYERS: Sophmore quarterback Xavier Longerbeam returns as the starter and should grow with that experience. Williams believes that having a returning starting QB puts the team way ahead of last year.

“Longerbeam has matured and grown as a player and I like what I see, said Williams. “He understands the offense better and he looks ready to take it to the next level.”

The 6-2, 215-pound Longerbeam completed 59 percent of his passes (93-of-158) in 2016, averaging 140 yards per game. He passed for nine touchdowns and just six interceptions.

Senior running back Jarius Richardson returns for his third year as a starter. Last season, Richardson led the Blue Bears in rushing by far — 749 yards and eight TDs.

   The top two leading receivers also return — Everett Ransom (60 catches for 709 yards) and Spencer Ludin (42 for 415) — but Williams is also excited about junior transfer Jordan Cartwright from ASA Miami.

Guards Chris Whitley and William Odomes, and tackle Malik Washington are offensive line returners.

On defense, All-CIAA performer Armond Cox moves from defensive end to an interior position. Cox will be starting for the third straight year and was the team’s second-leading tackler last season with 60 stops, including four sacks.

Cox is the only Livingstone players selected to the pre-season All-CIAA squad.

Defensive back Gregory Hines, who led the Blue Bears with five interceptions a year ago, also returns.

Linebacker Jarod Richardson, Jarius’ twin, is back for his third year as a starter. “The Richardsons are playing very fast and both are bigger and stronger,” said Williams. “They bring a lot to the table. They’re team leaders as well, on and off the field.”

Another newcomer that Williams is high on is defensive rush end Devonte Adams, a 6-4, 240-pound junior transfer Garden City Community College.

The Blue Bears will also have newcomers in the kicking game, other than long snapper Jarrod Brown, a senior who returns.   

Reserve QB Thaddeus Bell will punt and John Jones is the new place-kicker. Ludin doubles as the holder.

“We’re excited and looking forward to this week and the first game,” added Williams. “We’ve got a bunch of older guys on defense that are ready to get after it.”



Requests for absentee ballots top 9,000 in Rowan


Spencer approves supplemental USDA loan for Park Plaza project


11 locals will make up Empire Redevelopment Task Force


New finance director excited to prove himself, continue on path set by predecessor


County health officials report four new COVID-19 deaths


Trump promotes health care ‘vision’ at stop in Charlotte but gaps remain


Blotter: Woman charged with stealing mom’s dog


Rowan County hires Howden as new finance director


Exhibit about Jim Crow-era travel on display at NC Transportation Museum


GOP elections board members resign over absentee settlement


Drive-by shooting injures 24-year-old Salisbury man


Highway Patrol: Vehicle fled after striking, killing pedestrian on Camp Road


Locals to be inducted into NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame


Fall fun, with a twist: Patterson Farm adjusts to guidelines, offers new version of traditional events


Sayers, Piccolo friendship lives on in ‘Brian’s Song’


Partners in learning passes last year’s special needs fashion show fundraiser with all-virtual event




Former history teacher to use ‘working knowledge of the issues’ in state House race


Chamber adds more than 50 new businesses during Total Resource Campaign


School board candidates for Salisbury seat split on consolidation


Virtually no internet: Rural NC families struggle with online access for school-age children


Horizons Unlimited taking learning to students this semester


NTSB: Pilot’s actions likely caused Earnhardt Jr. plane crash


2 Louisville officers shot amid Breonna Taylor protests