Bethune-Cookman 62, Savannah St. 12

Updated: August 30, 2003, 11:09 PM ET

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Freshman Eric Weems scored four first-half touchdowns -- two rushing, two receiving -- to power Bethune-Cookman to a 62-12 win over Savannah State in the 50th anniversary of the Gateway Classic at Alltel Stadium.

Weems scored on a pair of 8-yard runs and hauled in scoring passes of 48 and 56 yards from Allen Suber durin the first half, as Bethune-Cookman built a 48-0 halftime lead. Weems finished with five catches for 153 yards and three carries for 20 more yards.

It was the season opener for both teams.

For Savannah State, Marcus Harris caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Clyde Tullis and Ontreal Bowers scored on a 1-yard run.

Suber totaled 291 yards of offense in playing just the first half. He gained 117 yards on nine rushing attempts, including a 54-yard run for the Wildcats' sixth touchdown of the first half, plus was 7-for-10 passing for another 174 yards.

Bethune-Cookman, the defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions, scored on its first five possessions and scored touchdowns on seven of its nine possessions in the opening two quarters.

Xavier Butler had a 48-yard punt return for a touchdown and Rodney Johnson added an 11-yard run for another score before halftime for the Wildcats, who racked up 480 yards of total offense compared with 116 for Savannah State.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index