During preseason practice, Citadel coach Brent Thompson said backup quarterback Jordan Black had earned playing time behind senior starter Dominique Allen.
Thompson followed through in Saturday's season opener, and the sophomore Black rewarded him by leading the Bulldogs' offense on two scoring drives during a 31-14 victory over Newberry at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
Black, a 6-1, 200-pound lefty, came off the bench to rush nine times for 39 yards and a touchdown, and hit 2 of 3 passes for 43 yards and another score, a 6-yard TD pass to Josh LeBlanc.
“The dual threat at quarterback was kind of nice,” Thompson said. “That's kind of new for me. But you've got Dominique, who is a good power runner and can end the game for you. And Jordan, who extends plays. A play wasn't there, he spins out of it and gets the first down, and we get a touchdown out of it.
“It's a good problem to have, and we'll continue to build on it.”
Black, who started the first three games last season after Allen was suspended for the season opener, relieved Allen late in the first half after the starter took a hard shot. He ran four times for 16 yards, including a 1-yard TD for a 14-7 Citadel lead.
The score was 21-7 when Black returned in the fourth quarter. He spun out of a tackle for an 8-yard run on third and 4, then found LeBlanc for a TD and a 28-7 lead.
“It's a great little deal we've got,” said Allen, who ran for 91 yards on 16 carries. “Jordan did an excellent job executing and doing what he does, extending plays and making big plays happen.”
Thompson made the first instant-replay challenge in Johnson Hagood Stadium history in the first quarter, challenging the spot after the Bulldogs came up short on fourth and 2 at the Newberry 4.
His challenge was unsuccessful.
“The word I got from up top was that we clearly had it,” Thompson said, referring to his assistants in the coaches' box. “But it was the old left-foot, right-foot thing. One guy came in and had it ahead of the sticks, and then the next guy comes in and moves it back half a yard.
“I guess both teams were 0 for 1 on the night. But at least we're using it and getting calls right, and that's all we want and what the SoCon wants.”
• St. John's High School product Darius Clark ran for 20 yards and a TD for Newberry … Fort Dorchester's Baptiste Staggers had two catches for 14 yards, and Palmetto Christian's J.T. Waters caught one pass for 4 yards.
• Cam Jackson's 110 yards gives him 2,058 yards for his career, good for 11th place on the Bulldogs' all-time chart. It was his 10th 100-yard game … The Citadel has rushed for at least 300 yards eight times in Thompson's 13 games.
• True freshman Wally Wilmore made his first career interception, as did junior safety Aaron Spann III … Linebacker Noah Dawkins led the Bulldogs with eight tackles, while Kailik Williams had seven and forced a fumble … Defensive end Ja'Lon Williams had one sack and four tackles for loss … Linebacker Myles Pierce had two tackles for loss and recovered a fumble.
• Goose Creek's Jalen Stevens, who transferred from Connecticut, saw his first action as a Bulldog … According to the participation chart, true freshmen who played included linemen Lewis and Cole, cornerback Wilmore, linebacker Willie Eubanks, punter Noah Cannon, defensive end Aaron Brawley and defensive back Jalen Barr.