Mississippi Valley State looked to control the tempo in their home opener against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats Saturday (Sept. 21).
They did that, but the difference was made on the opponents’ side of the 50. Valley was prevented from scoring, while Bethune broke for a couple big plays to win the contest, 22-6.
Mississippi Valley State (0-3) controlled the pace of play with a time of possession of 36:39. Dejerric Bryant (Mize, Miss.) threw for 141 yards, completed more than half his passes and added another 23 yards on the ground. John’Derrick Smith (Greenwood, Miss.) had his best game for Valley, carrying the rock 22 times for 79 yards. Jarius Clayton (Kemper, Miss.) and Sedevyn Gray (Puckett, Miss.) pulled in five receptions each.
On defense, Tracy Thompkins (Miami, Fla.) led the way once again in the tackle department with seven stops. Jonathan Jones (De Kalb, Miss.) finished with six tackles and hauled in a 35 yard interception in the third quarter. Jerry Garner (Chunchula, Ala.) registered two sacks on Wildcat quarterback Akevious Williams - the first time that’s happened for Valley since Theron Chatmon earned a pair against Virginia Lynchburg in 2017.
Bethune-Cookman (2-1) was efficient when they had the ball, averaging 6.7 yards per play. The bulk of that came on the ground with 149 yards from Isaac Washington and 98 yards from Williams. The Wildcat defense was led with 12 tackles from Marquis Hendrix, including two and a half for losses, and the team combined for six sacks.
SWAC play for Valley kicks off next Saturday (Sept. 28) with a 6 p.m. kickoff at Alcorn State.