College football: Livingstone in control, but brawl ends contest

Published 9:31 pm Saturday, November 6, 2021

Staff report

CHARLOTTE — Livingstone’s defense was good this season and dominated while its final football game lasted on Saturday at Irwin Belk Stadium

The Blue Bears returned two fumbles for touchdowns and held a 17-3 lead over CIAA rival Johnson C. Smith when the game was halted with 5:23 left in the third quarter due to a benches-clearing brawl.

The league has declared the game a “no contest,” a ruling which will nullify the statistics as well as the result.

Shortly after an 83-yard fumble return for a score by LC’s Malcolm Hayes, fighting started along the JCSU sidelines on the kickoff return. Punches were thrown.

Players from both benches came on the field before coaches, officials and security forces could restore order.

Livingstone finished 1-8, while J.C. Smith is done at 1-7. Both teams will go into the record books with 1-5 CIAA records.

Livingstone was in control prior to the chaos.

Despite its record, Livingstone entered Saturday’s game as one of the national leaders in Division II as far as fewest yards allowed, fewest passing yards allowed and turnovers created.

Livingstone forced three more turnovers against the Golden Bulls.

The Blue Bears scored first on William Heyward’s 31-yard field goal.

Just seconds after that field goal, the Blue Bears made it 10-0 on Caesar Cordoba’s 21-yard fumble return.

J.C. Smith got back to 10-3 on a field goal before the half.

The next key play was the long fumble return by Mayes, who had a team-high nine tackles for Livingstone. J.C. Smith had a first down at the Livingstone 15, but there was a fumble in the backfield and Mayes made a game-swinging play.

Lazarus Anderson threw for 58 yards for the Blue Bears. Andre Harris rushed for 57 yards. Tecorey Tutson had a 36-yard run. James Douglas had an interception.

Antonio Wallace threw for 106 yards for the Golden Bulls.

North Rowan grad Tsion Delaney, a true freshman safety, had two tackles for J.C. Smith.

The CIAA championship game is set for next Saturday at 1 p.m., with Fayetteville State playing Bowie State in Salem, Va.

Fayetteville State edged Winston-Salem State 10-3 on Saturday, while Bowie State was pounding Elizabeth City State 79-6.