BOWIE, Md. (Oct. 18, 2014) – Bowie State University squandered a 14-point lead as Virginia State University rallied to claim a 28-14 victory, spoiling Homecoming for the Bulldogs. The win improves Virginia State’s record to 5-2 overall (4-0 in the CIAA) while Bowie State dips to 2-5 overall (2-2 in the CIAA).
Neither team displayed very impressive total offensive yards as the Trojans accounted for just 186 compared to 296 for the Bulldogs. Possession time was all Virginia State with the Trojans holding on to the ball 36:29 compared to for Bowie State. After rolling up 213 yards of offense in the first 30 minutes, Bowie State managed just 83 in the second half.
Junior Trevon Bennett (Fort Washington, Md.) threw for over 200 yards for the fourth time this season in five starts, completing 22-of-34 passes for 208 yards and one touchdown. Redshirt sophomore Jordan Garrison (Baltimore, Md.) led all Bowie State receivers with 50 reception yards on four catches. Junior Garry Cropper (Odenton, Md.) and freshman Kerrick Pollock (Miami, Fla.) also had four receptions for 48 and 36 yards respectively. Redshirt senior Keith Brown (Temple Hills, Md.) paced the Bulldogs ground game with 46 yards on 15 carries. Graduate student Christopher Townsend (Washington, D.C.) recorded a game-high 11 tackles in the loss.
Virginia State quarterback Tarian Ayers (Dillwyn, Va.) completed 18-of-28 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Kavon Bellamy (Hampton, Va.) carried the ball 24 times for a game-high 72 yards and one touchdown while Jaivon Smallwood (Virginia Beach, Va.) caught five passes for 51 yards. Dion Futch also tallied five catches in the game for 34 yards. Futch also made probably the biggest play of the game, returning a fourth quarter punt 74 yards that set up the final Trojans score. Brandon Robinson (Mechanicsville, Va.) was Virginia State’s top tackler with nine while teammates Darion Thomas (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Divonte Piggott (Woodbridge, Va.) added eight tackles each.
The Bulldogs scored the first six points of the game at the mark of the first quarter on a Bennett to Cropper nine yard pass and catch.
Bowie State went up 14-0 with left to play in the second quarter when redshirt junior Kendall Jefferson (Temple Hills, Md.) scampered in for six two yards for the score, capping off a 12-play, 80 yard drive. The Bulldogs two-point conversion was good when Bennett connected with junior Jamal Chappell (Baltimore, Md.).
Bulldogs redshirt freshman Leon Wheeler (Washington, D.C.) forced a Virginia State fumble on the ensuing kickoff only to have the Trojans take the ball right back on an interception by VSU’s Ronald Lewis (Virginia Beach, Va.).
Seven plays later, Virginia State found the Bulldogs end zone via an Ayers five yard pass to Willie Stubblefield (Highland Springs, Va.). Matthew Hillquist (Glen Allen, Va.) added the extra point to cut the BSU lead down to 14-7 with left in the first half.
Bowie State rolled up 213 yards in total offense in the first half and the Bulldogs defense held the Trojans to just 37 total yards over the first 30 minutes of action.
The Trojans trimmed their deficit to 14-10 at the 10 minute mark of the third quarter following a 21-yard Hillquist field goal.
Virginia State took their first lead of the afternoon at 17-14 with left in the third quarter after a five yard rushing touchdown by Bellamy, capping off a 10-play, 58 yard drive.
The Trojans put the game away early in the fourth quarter when Ayers connected on a 14-yard pass to Bellamy. This drive was setup by Futch’s long punt return of 74 yards.
The Virginia State defense reversed course in the second half holding Bowie State to only 83 yards of total offense which included only two rushing yards.
Bowie State will hit the road (October 27th) playing at co-division leader Virginia Union University. Game time at VUU’s Hovey Field is set for .