Concordia beats Livingstone in HBCU Classic

Published 12:29 am Sunday, August 31, 2008

GREENVILLE, S.C. — History certainly hasn’t stopped for the Concordia College Hornets.

One week after beating NAIA No. 6 ranked Bethel College, Concordia (2-0) took a 26-21 win over Livingstone on Saturday in the HBCU Classic.

It was the Hornets’ first ever win over an NCAA team.

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The Division II Blue Bears didn’t take advantage of five turnovers and more than 120 penalty yards given up by the Hornets.

That kind of performance was just enough to keep Concordia’s record perfect so far this season, but maybe not for much longer.

“I’m proud of the boys, but we’ve got a lot of work to do before our first home game against Belhaven Saturday,” Concordia coach Shepherd Skanes said. “We seem to pick it up a level every week. We came out sluggish, and we finished sluggish because we didn’t have a great week of practice.”

Reduced to a pair of walkthroughs at Memorial Stadium and limited hitting, mainly because of bad weather, Concordia’s lethargy showed prominent Saturday night.

They lost four of their six fumbles, and quarterback Ken Johnson threw an interception as part of a 6-for-16 passing night.

In this game, however, the team that scored first got the win.

Concordia went up 7-0 with more than 8 minutes to play in the second quarter with a 26-yard pass from Johnson to Jevon Grant.

The Bears (0-1) tied the score by returning a high snap over Johnson’s head with 38 seconds left in the first half.

Concordia’s scoring blitz began on the next drive when running back A.J. ward scampered 46 yards for a touchdown. With 22 seconds on the clock, the Hornets led 13-7 after a missed extra point.

The Hornets then recovered a squib kick, and Johnson hit receiver John Halman with a 44-yard strike to put them ahead 20-7 going into the locker room.

Livingstone made it close in the second half, but not close enough.

Defensive back Sherman Black, who toted away the game MVP trophy, recorded Concordia’s only score of the second half when he picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown in the third quarter.