Strong Shaw Defense Overpowers Livingstone, Bears Win 34-0
Salisbury, NC – The Shaw offense turned the ball over six times – including three times in the red zone – but the defense held Livingstone to 26 yards on the game, cementing a 34-0 Shaw win.
The win brings Shaw's record to 3-2 on the season, 2-0 in the CIAA. The Blue Bears drop to 0-6 and 0-3 in the CIAA.
The Bear defense came out roaring in the first half, holding the Blue Bears to only 40 yards and picking off a Levon Stanley pass. Fred Sparkman rolled up seven tackles in the first half alone.
In the second, Shaw stepped up the defense even more, sending Livingstone backwards 14 yards on the half, picking off another pass, and continuing to push deep into the Blue Bear backfield.
On the game, the Bears combined for 16 tackles for a loss (67 yards), including five sacks.
The Bears needed the strong defense to counter an offense that spent the afternoon working in fits and starts – rolling up 430 yards, but giving up six turnovers – three inside the Livingstone ten.
"Our defense is playing good football. If we can learn not to turn the football over, we have the chance for a bright ending," said Shaw Head Coach Darrell Asberry. "We were very undisciplined with the ball. It looked like our skill players hadn't been coached at all," he continued.
The opening minutes proved to be a microcosm of the entire game. Livingstone received the opening kickoff and the Bear defense held them to three plays and a negative 13 yards. Shaw's Alberto Johnson returned the Blue Bear punt 37 yards and the Bears took over on the Livingstone ten-yard line.
On the very next play, Kevin Atkins threw a pass that was picked off by Ahmad Garrison. The Bear defense again stepped up, holding the Blue Bears to only eight yards before the punt.
The Bears took the ball on the Shaw 46, and two plays later, Raymond Williams ran the ball 34 yards to give the Bears a 7-0 lead.
The pattern continued throughout the game. The Bears only punted twice, but gave the ball up two more times on turnovers in the first half.
In the third quarter, Shaw was held to two field goals by Lyncon Shepherd, but did not turn the ball over.
Early in the fourth, a Shaw fumble on the Livingstone two ended a drive, but three plays later, Shawn Brice got an interception for the Bears and returned it to the Livingstone 20. Two plays after that, Van Jakes II dashed for nine yards to give Shaw the 27-0 lead.
The Bear defense then forced the Blue Bears back 11 yards, allowing the Bear offense to start their drive on the Livingstone 36. Backup quarterback Quinshon Odom immediately hit Tyrone Bolden for the 36-yard strike, putting the score at 34-0 with 8:43 left in the game.
The Bear defense did their job the rest of the game, holding Livingstone to six yards over three drives. But Odom tossed two interceptions – one at the Livingstone two – to keep the final score 34-0.
Williams had 145 of Shaw's 253 rushing yards. Atkins had 54 yards passing, and Odom collected 123 yards through the air.
Most of the Bear stars were on the defensive side of the ball. DeMarcus Roberson led the Bears with ten tackles (eight solo and two assists), including 5.5 tackles for a loss of 23 yards and two sacks. He also had two quarterback hurries.
Sparkman had eight tackles total including 1.5 tackles for a loss. Stanley Porter had seven tackles including two sacks.
The Bears return to action Saturday, October 9 when they close out their five-game road stretch taking on Johnson C. Smith at 2:00 p.m.