By Mark F. Gray, AFRO Staf Writer
Bowie State took their first major step towards winning the CIAA North Championship, while there was no momentum gained after last week’s homecoming victory for Morgan State.
Bowie State Spoils Va. State’s Homecoming
When it was time for Bowie State to put their big boy pants on, they were too much for Virginia State. In the battle of the last two CIAA football champions, the Bulldogs pulled away from the Trojans to beat them 24-14 and ruin the homecoming celebration just outside Petersburg, Va.
BSU pulled away in the second half after VSU moved the football with ease to start the game. The Trojans put the clamps on the Bulldogs offense for the game’s first 30 minutes by limiting their rushing attack and efficiently moving the ball on the ground themselves. Behind quarterback Cordelral Cook, who rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown, VSU rushed for 227 as a team. They consistently moved the ball down the field and out gained BSU 361-294 in total offense for the game.
However, when the Bulldogs needed a critical stop, their defense was up to the challenge. After halftime they took control of the game behind quarterback Ja’Rome Johnson, who stepped up and made the big plays for the BSU offense.
In what was his most complete game of the year, Johnson passed 182 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another 71. He managed the offense with a controlled passing game and continued to make the game changing plays with runs that kept drives moving.
BSU’s defense made critical adjustments in the second half, especially not allowing VSU to get to the outside. The Bulldogs set the edge and didn’t allow Cook to get around the corner on either side of the line. The secondary also put the velcro on the Trojans receivers and shut them down after halftime.
With the challenge of winning at Virginia State behind them, a victory over Virginia Union would all but solidify their spot in the CIAA Championship game. The Panthers come to Bowie this weekend and with Lincoln visiting followed by a trip to Elizabeth City State, to close the regular season the Bulldogs could roll into the CIAA Championship game undefeated.
Next: vs. Virginia Union 10/26 (Bowie, MD)
Bears Blues Continue at S.C.
Morgan State was South Carolina State’s homecoming guest and they were going to play the game by any means necessary. With the potential for the impact of Tropical Storm Nestor on Orangeburg, SC, game time was moved to 10:30 a.m.
However, a change in game time didn’t change the fate of the Bears, who were beaten 24-10 and fell to 1-6 overall (1-3 MEAC). MSUis built to run the football and play to the strength of their defense; however, S.C. State made them one dimensional which stifled them offensively.
The Bulldogs held the Bears to -7 yards rushing and they lost five yards on 32 carries and fumbled three times. Quarterbacks DeAndre Harris and DJ Golatt combined for 267 yards passing, but also threw two interceptions for the Bears.
Corey Fields threw a pair of long, second-half touchdown passes and South Carolina State built a three-touchdown lead going into the fourth quarter and held on to win from there.
Next: vs. FAMU 10/26 Baltimore, Md (WEAA/HSRN)