by Jason Pompey
Virginia State University’s football team fell to Johnson C. Smith University 14-7 in Charlotte, NC on Saturday, Sept. 17th. VSU’s offense had a season-high 395 total yards, but only scored one touchdown, and fumbled the ball in the final minute of the game leading to a Golden Bulls 94 yard TD score.
Offensive miscues in potential scoring range led VSU to a 1-2 record and 0-1 CIAA conference record to start the 2011 football season. When the Trojans were in scoring range against the Golden Bulls the results were; one touchdown, three missed FGs attempts, one turn over on downs, and one key fumble lost.
Senior kicker/punter, William Rudd went 0-3 in FG attempts against JCSU. Rudd was blocked on a 39 yard attempt in the first quarter, missed from 39 yards out in the second, and also missed from 32 yards out in the fourth quarter.
The Trojan offense outgained the Golden Bulls offense 395 total yards to 309 yards but was only able to score 7 points. Senior running back, Antwain Lyde rushed 25 times for 103 yards and scored VSU’s only TD on a 3 yard carry in the third quarter.
Junior quarterback, Jarred Battle completed 21 of 40 pass attempts and threw for a career-best 257 yards. He rushed 7 times for 15 yards with a long of 14 yards. Battle connected with five Trojan receivers. Junior wide receiver, Corey Young caught 9 passes for 84 yards, sophomore Dion Futch caught 4 passes for 68 yards, and senior Timothy Paulk led the way with 99 yards receiving on 4 catches.
Paulk caught a 63 yard strike from Battle late in the fourth quarter, setting up a potential game winning score on the Johnson C. Smith eight yard line. With the score tied at 7, it was VSU first and goal with two minutes remaining in the game.
On first down, Lyde rushed for a 7 yard gain to the JCSU one yard line. On second down, Lyde rushed again for no yards as the Golden Bulls defense stopped the Trojans. On the next play, VSU lined up in a “wildcat formation” with Lyde to receive the snap; Lyde fumbled the ball on the six yard line and JCSU’s Lance Harris recovered the Trojan fumble and ran 94 yards to score and win the game for the Golden Bulls.
This was a crushing loss for Virginia State University as their defense held the Golden Bulls to 118 yards rushing and 191 yards passing.
Red-shirt sophomore defensive back, Sean Smith played light outs for the VSU secondary picking off 2 passes. Senior linebacker, Jeremy Pruitt led his team with 5.5 total tackles. Senior defensive back, Howard Spencer had VSU’s only sack of the game and pitched in 3.5 tackles with one pass breakup.
The (1-2, 0-1 CIAA) Trojans open up at home for the first time on Saturday, September 24th at 6:00 p.m. against the (1-2, 0-1 CIAA) Hawks of Chowan University. Rogers Stadium will host the Trojans and Hawks on Virginia State University’s Military, Faculty, and Staff Appreciation Day.
Jason Pompey is Sports Information Officer for Virginia State University Athletics. Email: JPompey@VSU.edu