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Virginia State started fast and ended strong en route to a 47-35 Homecoming victory in the Trojans’ showdown with Bowie State for first place in the CIAA North Division race.

Both teams were unbeaten entering the game and sported 3-0 conference records. Virginia State (6-0, 4-0 CIAA) scored on three of its first four possessions and grabbed a 20-7 first-quarter lead. The Trojans matched their 20-point first quarter scoring barrage with 20 points in the fourth quarter while handing the Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1 CIAA) their first loss of the season.

Virginia State survived an aerial assault by Bowie State quarterback Amir Hall, who threw for 281 yards and five touchdowns despite being under heavy pressure from the Trojans’ pass rush. Hall completed 29 of 48 pass attempts, but the Trojans sacked him five times and had an interception. The Bulldogs rushed for 100 yards and generated 381 total yards. However, they were unable to match Virginia State’s offensive output, which was powered by running back Trenton Cannon.

Cannon ran for 234 yards. His 93-yard touchdown run put the Trojans at 2:56 of the first quarter put the Trojans ahead for good after Bowie State had taken a 7-6 lead. Quarterback Cordelral Cook passed for 234 yards and two touchdowns as the Trojans amassed 596 total yards. Cook also rushed for 100 yards, and he scored three touchdowns on the ground, including a 55-yard scamper in the fourth quarter for the Trojans’ final points.

Virginia State’s defense forced three turnovers, including an interception at the Trojans’ eight yard line with 2:45 remaining in the first half. Bowie State, trailing 27-21, had taken possession of the ball at Virginia State’s 32 following a Trojans punt. Virginia State held the ball for the remainder of the half and protected its lead.

It was one of those games for the Trojans that even when they bad a play, good things happened. Cook scored on a six-yard run early in the fourth quarter for a 33-21 lead. Bowie State blocked the extra point kick, but Cullen Marshall recovered the ball for two points instead of one if the kicked had been successful.

Key Results

 Bethune-Cookman 12, South Carolina State 9 – Special teams were the difference in the Wildcats’ MEAC home victory. Uriel Hernandez kicked four field goals and Delwaun Beard blocked a South Carolina State (2-4, 1-3 MEAC) three-point try as time expired to preserve the win for Bethune-Cookman (3-3, 2-1 MEAC). Hernandez booted field goals of34, 37, 33 and 32 yards. Trey Samuel scored the game’s only touchdown on a four-yard run that gave South Carolina State a 9-6 lead at the 2:50 mark in the second quarter.

Bethune-Cookman blocked Tyler Scandrett’s extra point attempt. South Carolina State made a bid to send the contest into overtime on its final possession. The Bulldogs got the ball with 1:17 remaining in the game and drove from their 29 yard line to Bethune-Cookman’s 19. They called on Scandrett for a 42-yard attempt that Beard blocked. Arthur Williams recovered the ball to end the game, dooming the Bulldogs to another narrow defeat. Three of their four losses have been by six, five and three points.

Alcorn State 34, Prairie View A&M 21 – The Braves spotted the Panthers a 14-0 first-quarter lead before roaring from behind to win their Homecoming game and remain unbeaten the SWAC. Prairie View (2-4, 2-2 SWAC) had a 414-551 edge in total yards over Alcorn (5-2, 4-0 SWAC), and quarterback Neiko Hollins passed for 291 yards and tossed three touchdown passes. But Alcorn’s defense stood tall in key situations, forcing four turnovers to stymie the Panthers. The Braves also dominated time of possession, holding the ball for more than 40 minutes.

 North Carolina Central 24, Gardner-Webb 17 – Quarterback Chauncey Caldwell passed for 333 yards and accounted for three touchdowns as the Eagles held on for a home non-conference win. Caldwell tossed a 57-yard touchdown pass to Nique Martin and he scored on nine-yard run as North Carolina Central (5-1) took a 17-3 lead into the fourth quarter. Tyrell Maxwell’s 23-yard touchdown run trimmed the lead to 17-10 with 11:33 remaining in the game. Caldwell connected with Xavier McCoy on an 89-yard touchdown pass on the Eagles’ next possession to cushion North Carolina Central’s lead. Gardner-Webb (1-5) got a 21-yard touchdown run from Maxwell with 1:45 left in the game for its final points.

 Howard 52, Delaware State 23 – Quarterback Caylin Newton guided the Bison to their highest point total since 2014 en route to a MEAC road victory. Newton passed for 285 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a touchdown for Howard (3-3, 2-1 MEAC) as the Bison kept Delaware State (0-6, 0-4) winless for the season. Howard seized the momentum just before the half. With the score tied 10-10, Elijah Anglin returned a fumble 96 yards for a touchdown. Newton’s 49-yard touchdown pass to Guy Lemonier Jr. on the first play of the second half extended Howard’s lead to 24-10 and the rout was on. Howard ended the game with 628 yards total offense.

 Alabama State 23, Texas Southern 16 – The Hornets got off the schneid, making interim coach Donald Hill-Eley a winner in his debut and ruining the winless Tigers’ Homecoming in the process, with a SWAC victory. Hill-Eley replaced Brian Jenkins as Alabama State’s coach after the Hornets (1-5, 1-2 SWAC) started the season 0-5. Alabama State battled back from a 16-3 second-quarter deficit.

The Hornets went ahead 20-16 on Darryl Pearson Jr.’s 67-yard touchdown pass to Willis White with six seconds left in the third quarter. Hunter Hanson kicked a 40-yard fourth-quarter field goal for the margin of victory. Texas Southern (0-6, 0-1 SWAC) was in position to send the game into overtime after driving to Alabama State’s 14 yard line on the Tigers’ final possession. However, T. J. Presley intercepted Dominic DeLira’s pass in the end zone with 47 seconds remaining in the game.

Other Scores

MEAC

Hampton 16, Norfolk State 14

Morgan State 48, Savannah State 38

North Carolina A&T 31, Florida A&M 20

SWAC

Alabama A&M 49, Mississippi Valley State 14

CIAA

Elizabeth City State 56, Lincoln (Pa.) 18

Fayetteville State 41, Johnson C. Smith 16

Saint Augustine’s 17, Winston-Salem State 14

Shaw 35, Livingstone 14

Virginia Union 35, Chowan 10

SIAC

Albany State 34, Morehouse 10

Benedict 14, Clark Atlanta 3

Central State 40, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 35

Fort Valley State 37, Lane 14

Miles 35, Kentucky State 0

Tuskegee 33, Jackson State 7

Others

Austin Peay 21, Tennessee State 17

Langston 44, Texas College 17

Missouri S&T 21, Lincoln (Mo.) 3

Shippensburg 56, Cheyney 0

Webber International 16, Edward Waters 9

West Virginia State 47, Concord 29

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