Liv­ing­stone gets best of J.C. Smith in Clas­sic ri­valry

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - College Football - BY HERB WHITE Cor­re­spon­dent

The Com­mem­o­ra­tive Clas­sic tro­phy is head­ing up I-85 for the first time in three years.

Liv­ing­stone rode a strong de­fen­sive ef­fort and the pass­ing of quar­ter­back Miles Hayes to beat J.C. Smith 20-9 Satur­day at McGirt Field. The win, Liv­ing­stone’s sec­ond in 10 clas­sics, cut J.C. Smith’s ad­van­tage in black col­lege foot­ball’s old­est ri­valry to 50-32-3.

The Blue Bears’ de­fense was stout, lim­it­ing J.C. Smith to 106 yards on of­fense, zero on the ground. The pass rush, led by Devonte Adams’ three sacks, con­sis­tently pres­sured Golden Bulls fresh­man An­to­nio Wal­lace, who com­pleted just 5of-24 passes, in­clud­ing a 57-yard touch­down strike to Brax­ton Gam­brell to close to within 17-9 in the third quar­ter.

Liv­ing­stone had five sacks and forced three turnovers.

Mean­while, Hayes was ef­fi­cient, hit­ting 11-of-19 passes for 214 yards and a 32-yard score to Justin Ruf­fin for a 7-0 lead. The Blue Bears made the most of their scor­ing chances, con­vert­ing both red-zone pos­ses­sions into field goals com­pared to 0-2 for J.C. Smith.

Records: Liv­ing­stone 3-6, 3-3 CIAA; J.C. Smith 2-7, 2-4 CIAA.

3 WHO MAT­TERED

Hayes: Liv­ing­stone’s quar­ter­back put on a pro­duc­tive show in the first half, hit­ting 8-of-14 passes for 159 yards and a 32-yard scor­ing strike to Justin Ruf­fin.

Gam­brell: The Golden Bulls re­ceiver’s 53-yard scor­ing re­cep­tion cut Liv­ing­stone’s lead to 17-9 in the third quar­ter.

Adams: The Liv­ing­stone de­fen­sive end put an im­pres­sive cap on his se­nior sea­son with five tack­les, in­clud­ing three sacks in his fi­nal game as a Blue Bear.

WORTH MEN­TION­ING

Liv­ing­stone’s spe­cial

teams were an ad­ven­ture, with a pair of er­rant snaps on punt at­tempts re­sult­ing in a J.C. Smith safety and turn­ing the ball over on downs at the Blue Bears’ 4 late in the fourth quar­ter.

Liv­ing­stone con­trolled

time of pos­ses­sion - 34 min­utes, 42 sec­onds com­pared to J.C. Smith’s 25:11.

Eight Blue Bears

caught a pass, with An­thony Faraimo the top re­ceiver with 93 yards on three re­cep­tions with a long of 60 yards. He also rushed for 40 yards and a score on three car­ries.

Both teams strug­gled

with third-down con­ver­sions. J.C. Smith man­aged one in 14 op­por­tu­ni­ties and Liv­ing­stone turned two into first downs on 13 tries.

The Golden Bulls are

0-7 when they fail to score first.

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