Mississippi Valley State University might have found a quarterback to be the cornerstone of its massive rebuilding project. Freshman quarterback Dewayne Betts originally committed to Kansas State University in March 2016 but decommitted that December due to the number of quarterbacks on the Wildcats roster.
Betts, a star at KIPP Memphis Collegiate High School in Memphis, Tenn., was known by his nickname “Baby Cam” in honor of current Carolina Panthers star quarterback Cam Newton. He put his duel-quarterback skills on display during his junior season, throwing for 1,760 yards with 26 touchdowns and just three interceptions, and ran for 380 yards and five touchdowns in 2015.
As a high-school senior he passed for 1,340 yards with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. He ran for another 322 yards and seven touchdowns that same season.
The six-foot, two-inch, 205-pound quarterback landed at Mississippi Valley State after decommitting from Kansas State. Things started out slowly for the freshman, as he only saw limited action early in the season.
He threw one incomplete pass in the season opener against North Dakota State University. Against Southern Illinois University he struggled to complete just five passes on 20 attempts for 142 yards with an interception.
Betts again struggled against Grambling State University, missing on all five of his pass attempts. But things began to turn around for the young quarterback against Charleston Southern University, as he completed six of eight passes for 106 yards with an interception but threw his first collegiate touchdown pass.
Things finally came together for Betts on the road against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The winless Delta Devils found themselves in a 14-0 hole early in the second quarter, when Betts went to work.
He found Steven McIntosh on a 25-yard touchdown pass, cutting the UAPB lead to 14-7. A razzle-dazzle play with McIntosh throwing a 31-yard touchdown to Darrion Harper tied the game at 14-14 with just under two minutes left in the first half.
The Golden Lions added a field goal and took a 17-14 lead into the break. Betts and the MVSU offense got back to work at the start of the third quarter. A field goal tied things up again this time at 17-17.
Betts gave the Delta Devils their first lead of the game at 24-17 on a 11-yard pass to Tyrone Hundley. UAPB tied the game for a third time with a one-play 80-yard run in the middle of the third quarter.
As that quarter was coming to a close, Betts hit Quinn McElfresh with a seven-yard touchdown, which gave MSVU its second lead of the game. Betts finally put the Golden Lions away on a 60-yard touchdown pass to McIntosh, giving the Delta Devils a 38-24 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter.
UAPB added a late touchdown, but the Delta Devils earned their first win of the season in a 38-31 victory. It was by far the best offensive performance for MVSU, who hadn’t scored in double-digits all season up until this point.
Betts finished the game with 272 yards on 17 of 27 passes, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He ran 10 times for another 17 yards. The Delta Devils only rushed for 53 yards as a team.
Betts led the MVSU offense on the road Saturday, Oct. 14, against Alabama A&M University replacing Christopher Fowler. He passed for 134 yards with two interceptions after completing just nine passes in a 14-49 loss.
The freshman didn’t see any action in MVSU 53-5 win over Virginia University at Lynchburg.