Sunday, September 19, 1999

Howard beats BC 31-27 for its first win of season

Enquirer contributor

        Howard University's Elijah Thurmon picked the right day to have a career game.

        The wide receiver caught 11 passes for 202 yards and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns Saturday in the River Front Classic & Jamboree at Cinergy Field. The effort bolstered a 21-point performance in the game's final nine minutes by the previously winless Bison, who claimed a 31-27 victory over Bethune-Cookman.

        On his last catch of the day, Thurmon broke past a smaller defender who tried to stand him up at the line and hauled in the throw from quarterback Bobby Townsend for the decisive 35-yard score.

        “The corner tried to hold me down low, but I got past him and Bobby rolled outside toward me,” Thurmon said.

        “That was a great adjustment that both of our guys made,” said Steve Wilson, coach of Howard (1-2 and 1-1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference). “When we see that their guys are lining up man-to-man, we like our chances with one of the nation's top receivers in Elijah.”

        Thurmon wasn't the only star performer Saturday; Townsend threw for a career-high 396 yards and four touchdowns.

        Richard McEntyre caught his first collegiate touchdown in the third quarter to pull Howard within 13-10. Jeremy Thomas then scored on touchdown runs of 1 and 26 yards for BC, pushing its lead to 27-10 lead with 8:51 remaining in the game.

        Jevonte Philpot scored his first-ever touchdown just three plays later for Howard. Then, after a defensive stop, Howard cut the deficit to 27-24 when Thurmon's 16-yard scoring reception capped another three-play drive.

        Needing one more offensive possession, Wilson hoped for another defensive stand.

        “When our guys on defense shut (BC's) offense down after all they did to us earlier, that just shows there's no quit in this team,” he said. “I'm so happy these kids got to finally taste some success.”

        That began with 2:03 left. Howard got the ball at its own 49, and again, scored in three plays to send BC (2-1, 1-1) to its first loss in three games.


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