Harold Herbin was the change of pace J.C. Smith needed to finish off its biggest rival.
Herbin came off the bench to toss two touchdown passes and rally the Golden Bulls (3-7, 3-4 CIAA) to a 30-8 win against Livingstone (2-8, 1-6) Saturday in the Commemorative Classic.
Herbin, who missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury, completed 10 of 23 passes for 191 yards after relieving emergency starter Gabe Yuille.
“I’m thankful for the confidence they instilled in me,” Herbin said. “They trusted me with the offense, so I just went out there and did my thing, played it safe and played my position.”
Herbin’s impact was evident. He tossed a 23-yard scoring strike to Yuille, who returned to receiver, for an 8-8 tie 91 seconds before halftime and hit Braxton Gambrell on a screen pass that resulted in a 29-yard touchdown with 9 minutes, 27 seconds to play.
“We wanted to try to go with Gabe as much as we could as long as we could,” J.C. Smith coach Kermit Blout said. “We figured if we brought Herb off the bench it would give us a spark and another dimension. …When Herb came in, it kind of threw them off guard a little bit.”
The Golden Bulls’ defense came up big for the second straight week, intercepting four passes, including cornerback JaJaun McCalston’s pick-six on an 8-yard return to put J.C. Smith ahead 15-8 five minutes into the third quarter.
“(Livingstone) called a slant the previous play and got sacked,” he said. “So the coach said run the same play and I heard him. I sat on it and was lucky enough to take it back.”
Said Blount: “I’m real proud of this team. These guys hung together all year, they’ve come to work every day and practiced tremendously hard for the next ball game.”
Three who mattered
Joe Jones: Of the J.C. Smith defensive tackle’s six tackles, five were for losses.
Braxton Gambrell: A freshman running back, he gained 131 all-purpose yards, including 96 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Everett Ransom: Livingstone receiver caught nine passes for 132 yards.
▪ J.C. Smith safety Carlo Thomas picked off his seventh pass of the season and had a fumble recovery.
▪ The Golden Bulls have won seven of eight Commemorative Classic games and lead the all-time series 49-31-3.
▪ J.C. Smith improved to 3-1 in home games this season.