By Mark F. Gray, Staff Writer,

Bowie State keeps on rolling, but they are winning in different ways over the course of the first two weeks of the regular season.  However, Howard and Morgan remain winless after road losses against Football Championship Subdivision opponents who are playing at a different level.

BSU Special Teams Are Difference At Shaw

In week one Bowie State relied on their defense to pull them through at American International. Last weekend it was the special teams that bailed the Bulldogs out in their dramatic come-from-behind over Shaw University 26-21 that didn’t count in the conference standings in Durham, NC despite being CIAA rivals.  

Bowie State won in a comeback against Shaw while Howard lost Hampton University and Morgan lost to James Madison. (Courtesy Photo)

“We played well enough defensively to win the game, but offensively we didn’t score enough points or execute well enough,” said Bowie State coach Damon Wilson. “However, special teams did what they needed to do at the end.”

Shaw had control of the game leading 21-12 with 14:07 left in the fourth quarter, but then Bowie State’s Blake Dove took over. Dove blocked his first of two punts deep, which was recovered in the end zone by Reicardo Smith cutting the Bears lead to 21-19. With :24 seconds remaining, Dove blocked his second punt and Shaw was penalized on the  play giving the Bulldogs first and goal at the 5-yard line. Two plays later, Gaston Cooper completed a TD pass to DuShon David in the back of the Shaw end zone to give the Bulldogs the dramatic victory.

Next: vs Alderson Broadus (Home Opener) Bowie, MD

Howard Loses To Hampton In Chicago Classic

The venue and city may have changed, but Howard lost to Hampton once again. The Bison were victimized by the big play through the air falling to the Hampton University Pirates 41-20 at the 22nd Chicago Football Classic at Soldier Field.

Florida State transfer Deondre Francois led Hampton by torching Howard, completing 11 of 20 passes for 217 yards and four touchdowns.  Francois answered an early Howard field goal with a 70-yard touchdown pass to Darran Butts and connected with Jadakis Bonds for a 68-yard score as the Pirates seized control of the game.   

Caylin Newton completed 25 of 54 passes for 284 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, which were season highs for the Howard quarterback who was also sacked four times.

Next: At Delaware State 9/21 Dover, DE

Morgan No Match For No. 2 James Madison 

Morgan State had no answers for a team with national championship pedigree as 2nd-ranked James Madison beat them 63-12 in Harrisonburg, Va.

Quarterback Ben DiNucci torched the Bears’ defense for 240 yards and matched his career high with four passing touchdowns. The senior completed 18 of 23 passes with no interceptions in just over two quarters after leading them to scores on four of their first five possessions against Morgan. JMU also rushed for 209 yards on 39 carries while holding the Bears to 79 rushing yards.

Morgan State finished with a season-high 337 yards of total offense as DeAndre Harris looks to have made his bid to take the starting role as quarterback. Harris passed for 253 yards and one touchdown.

Next: At Army 9/21 West Point, NY