Howard Wins 35th Annual Circle City Classic

Howard University Football Team celebrates their victory. Photo courtesy of Howard University Instagram Page.

Caylin Newton and his Bison solidified their Celebration Bowl run with a 41 to 35 win over the Bethune Cookman (BCU) Wildcats in the 35th annual Circle City Classic.

Newton and the Bison had a 0-2 record coming into the Circle City Classic against BCU, and were looking to find their footing after a tough loss to Kent State in week two.

In the match up against BCU, Newton showed himself to be a top Football Championship Subdivision contender and averaged out his season stats, with 301 yards in the air, and 40 on the ground.

The young freshman rotation running back core also had an impressive showing in the game.  Josiah Crute rushed for two touchdowns and 83 yards, and Iggy Reynoso rushed for a touchdown and 34 yards.

“We have compilation of really good running backs and we have to figure out where to fit them and where to play them to help us win games,” head coach Mike London said.

The two weren’t the only freshmen to come up big versus BCU, as freshmen corner back Jalen Smith had an interception return for a pick six, jump-starting the Bison’s defensive campaign in the game.

Sophomore safety, Tye Freeland, who missed the later half of the 2017 season due to injury, sealed the Wildcat’s fate with a final interception with 45 seconds left in the ball game. Freeland had a strong defensive game knocking down three balls and was able to get up under BCU’s, Akevious Williams tipped ball on the last play.

“The quarterback overthrew the receiver and that play call from my coaches just happened to put me on the right spot at the right time to end the game. I’m proud of my teammates for persevering to the 4th quarter,” Freeland said.

Freeland credited the defense’s veterans with providing an opportunity for the group to get faster in play compared to last year. “Our defense had a lot of returners that stabilized the defense even more this year and it allows us to play faster and faster every year. I’m excited to see us continue to win on this journey; one week at a time,” he said.

Crute, the standout running back in the BCU match up for the Bison, also praised his teammates for the outcome of the classic and said they are looking to grind out the season in hopes of making every week count.

“We’re getting better as a team every week and building trust between each other. The offensive line played a great game. We’re going to continue to build with a great week of practice and be ready when our number is called,” he said