Four runners combined to rush for 182 yards as playoff-bound Blanche Ely pulled away to a 28-19 victory over Dillard in the 51st Soul Bowl at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night.
Jefferson Roseme led the Tigers (6-4) with 92 yards on 10 carries, including a key 34-yard score that gave Ely a 28-13 lead with 5:05 left.
Dillard (5-5) had come within 14-13 when Jason Collins (22 of 43, 336 yards, two TDs, two interceptions) connected with William Bethen for a 37-yard score that was followed by a blocked kick on the extra point late in the third.
The tide turned on the ensuing kickoff when Laderrick Smith returned it 88 yards for a touchdown to keep Ely ahead by two scores.
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The defense accounted for three drive-killers with three takeaways, including two passes picked off by Tigers’ Soul Bowl MVP Kevin Williams, who also scored on an 11-yard reception.
Jordan Merrell (six receptions, 70 yards, one TD) was Dillard’s MVP.
The teams battled to a 7-7 tie at halftime.
Dillard scored on the game’s opening series, marching 90 yards in eight plays, a drive capped by Collins’ 13-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Merrell.
The Tigers answered with a drive of their own midway through the second quarter, going 70 yards in 10 plays, capped by Arthur Forrest’s 9-yard run. Forrest highlighted the drive with consecutive runs of 11 and 10 yards, setting up a first-and-goal.