The Central Interscholastic Athletic Association (CIAA) football championship game was a tale of two stories Saturday, Nov. 14 at Durham County Stadium.
You would think the Shaw University Bears completely toppled the Virginia State University Trojans (VSU) by looking at the box score. Shaw out gained VSU with 412 total yards compared to the Trojans’ 136. Yet Shaw only barely edged the Trojans, 14-7, to claim the CIAA crown.
VSU was able to keep the score tight despite being blasted by Shaw’s potent running game. Bears’ star tailback Raymond Williams was named Shaw’s Most Valuable Player after rushing for 117 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries.
“I thought he did an excellent job of running the ball,” Shaw coach Darrell Ashberry told reporters after the game. “Whenever we give him the football a lot, we have a lot of success offensively.”
Williams helped Shaw record more than 125 yards in the first two series of the game, but VSU’s defense eventually settled in, and limited the Bears to only two touchdowns.
“Once we settled down, I think we held them in check a little bit,” said VSU coach Andrew Faison, who told his team they should be proud they made it this far despite the loss. The players agreed.
“I’m proud of what we did this year,” VSU’s Alfred Ngauja said in the post game press conference. “We have a lot of young players that came together and they’re going to be a good team next year. I’m just happy we helped start a winning legacy.”
While VSU will look forward to next season, Shaw will likely receive a bid to the Division II playoffs where they will get a shot at a national title.