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FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Benedict College Tigers scored 19 fourth-quarter points to rally past Kentucky State University and knock off the Thorobreds 39-35 on Saturday in Alumni Stadium in an SIAC matchup.

The win improves the Tigers to 5-5 on the season and 4-3 in the SIAC. Kentucky State, the SIAC Western Division champions, falls to 4-6 overall and 4-3 in the SIAC.benedict tiger

"What a big win. That was super," Benedict head coach Mike White said. "I thought we would play better the first half, but this shows how resilient the guys are to fight back and never give up. I'm almost speechless now trying to figure out what I'm going to say to them here at the end of the game, but I'm so happy for them."

The Tigers trailed 28-14 at halftime, and were behind 35-20 going into the fourth quarter. But Benedict got a short touchdown pass from Okechi Ntiasagwe to cap off a drive that ended with 13:31 left in the game to cut the lead to 35-26. The Thorobreds were forced to punt on their next possession, and George Myers Jr. ran the short, line-drive kick back 43 yards before being stopped two yards short of the goal line. Two plays later, quarterback Phillip Brown scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak, cutting the lead to 35-33 with 11:39 left to play.

Kentucky State fumbled on the kickoff return and Benedict recovered at the Kentucky State 34-yard line. The Tigers chewed up some clock on the 10-play drive, getting a 3-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Johnson with 6:38 left to play to give Benedict its first lead, 39-35.

The Thorobreds were able to get two more offensive possessions and moved the ball to the Benedict 18-yard line with time running out when Edward Kirkland intercepted a pass by KSU quarterback Jules St. Ge with 17 seconds left in the game. Benedict ran out the clock for the win.

"I'm just glad that we do not give up. That's all I ask of them, to show them that the Tigers are here to stay for four quarters," White said.

Kentucky State recorded a season-high 456 yards of offense in the loss. Running back Reginal Harris recorded a career-high 229 yards of total offense (195 yards rushing, 34 yards receiving) and scored three touchdowns.

The game started out ominous for the Tigers. Benedict received the opening kickoff, but fumbled the ball back to Kentucky State. The Thorobreds scored on the very next play, with Harris running around the end and down the sideline for a 48-yard touchdown. Benedict starting free safety Robert Cummings was injured on the play and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for tests. He returned to the Benedict sideline by the end of the game. Cummings also serves as the holder on field goals and extra points, which may have hampered kicker Tory Mimbs, who missed two extra points and a 40-yard field goal.

"It makes us kind of vanilla as far as what we can do when you lose a guy like Bobby. Then Kirkland was hurt and you're playing so many new guys in the secondary, you had to stay plain," White said. "But the guys hung in there and made a play and made another play, and here we are."

The Tigers tied the game on their next possession on a 22-yard pass from Brown to Ntiasagwe. The Thorobreds pulled ahead 28-7 before the Tigers scored on a 2-yard run by Brown with 6:50 left in the first half. The Thorobreds had 296 yards of total offense in the first half, including 216 yards rushing. White said the coaching staff challenged the team to play better in the second half.

"They showed me the first-half stats and that we had already given up 200 yards, believe me, I said that to them at halftime," White said. "We talked about how much it meant for our program, all-conference teams, just to man up and play better than we played that first half. We as a staff challenged them to come out and play. Leadership kicked in and here we are."

Myers finished with 171 yards rushing on 25 carries. Phillip Brown completed 10-of-19 passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more. Ntiasagwe caught five passes for 44 yards and two touchdowns. Kendrick Frazier led the defense with seven tackles.

Benedict wraps up the 2016 season next week at home against Point University at 2 p.m. for Senior Day. Kentucky State travels to face Fort Valley State in the SIAC Championship game next week in Montgomery, Ala.

~ Benedict Sports Information

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