Late-game penalties killed Bowie State’s hopes for a comeback as the Chowan University Hawks from Murfreesboro, NC, edged the Bulldogs, 38-35, with a 31-yard field goal as time ran out at the Bowie stadium.
The kick by Ryan Murphy came with seven seconds left and marked the season finale for both teams. Chowan ended the season at 3-7 overall (2-5 vs. Central Interscholastic Athletics Association (CIAA)) and Bowie State wrapped up the year with a 4-6 overall record (3-4 vs. CIAA).
Bowie State scored first with 16 seconds left in the first quarter, when senior Delano Johnson returned a lateral pass 31 yards for the score. Chowan responded immediately, as Antjuan Randall returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards. Chowan would score 21 unanswered points to open a 28-7 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Chowan quarterback Kameron Stover found receiver Robert Holland in the end zone for their third touchdown combination of the game, this time from three yards out, extending the Chowan lead to 35-14.
Just when it appeared the Bulldogs were dead in the water, Bowie State scored three touchdowns in a 6:03 span to tie the score at 35 with 1:21 left in the game.
Bowie State had a shot at completing a dramatic come-from-behind victory as Chowan lined up to punt, but a roughing the kicker call on that punt gave Chowan an automatic first down at BSU’s 44-yard line. On the next play, Bowie State was flagged for pass interference, putting the ball at the 31-yard-line.
Stover moved Chowan closer with back-to-back runs of 12 and 10 yards, setting up Murphy's late game heroics. Stover completed 23-of-35 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Hawks. Holland led all receivers with 139 yard on 16 catches and was the recipient of all three touchdown passes.
The Hawks were led on defense by Jason Ampy with eight total tackles and Anthony Session, DaKorio DeSamme and Patrick Charles were credited with six tackles each.
Senior Clifton Budd paced the Bowie State Bulldogs with 100 all-purpose yards (11 rushing, 33 receiving and 56 return yards). Budd completed his final game in a Bulldogs uniform completing 11-of-20 passes. Senior quarterback Andre Johnson came off the bench to lead the Bowie State ground game with 84 rushing yards and one touchdown. Johnson also completed 10-of-17 passes for 78 yards and three second half touchdowns.
Senior Marcelus Manear had a career afternoon, tying for team-high tackles with eight to equal junior Bekewele Amadi.
Bowie State closed out the game with 335 total offensive yards and Chowan was right behind them with 315 total offensive yards. Penalties plagued Bowie State all season, and against Chowan the team tied their season-high of 15 penalties for a school-record 215 yards.
Prior to the game 13 seniors, Reginald Berry, Clifton Budd, Terrance Hemsley, Kevin James, Andre Johnson, Delano Johnson, Tariq Jones, Marcelus Manear, Seth Minter, Matthew Odezugo, James Proctor, Kenneth Turner and Maurice Wilson, were honored with pictured plaques as a token of appreciation for their time playing with the Bulldogs.