by Jason Pompey
Virginia State’s football team won a 28-21 overtime thriller against Bowie State University on Saturday, Oct. 1st in Rogers Stadium. Junior quarterback, Jarred Battle threw a 21 yard TD pass to wide receiver Timothy Paulk sending the game into overtime with 16 seconds left in the game. Battle rushed for a 2 yard score to win the game in overtime bringing the Trojans to a 3-2 overall record and 2-1 record in the CIAA conference.
The Trojans won their first overtime game since 2007 and it was an exciting one for the home fans. Both teams played great defensively, but with three scores in the final three minutes of the game including overtime, Virginia State University came from behind and defeated Bowie State University in overtime thanks to their defense.
Bowie State took a 14-7 lead late in the fourth quarter with 3:37 left on a 3 yard run by Tariq Jones and a Michael Gagne kick. On the ensuing kickoff, senior defensive back Howard Spencer returned an 88 yard kickoff return for the Trojans to tie the game up at 14.
The Bulldogs bounced right back by milking the game clock to under a minute and also scoring on a 32 yard run by Keith Brown. Fans began to exit the stadium due to rain and maybe also started to doubt that the Trojans could ever stage a last second comeback against the Bulldogs. On the next drive for the Trojan offense, VSU had 3 incomplete pass attempts, a false start penalty, and an interception thrown on fourth down giving BSU possession with 23 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs offense came back onto the field in the victory formation with three straight kneel downs. The Trojans used up their timeouts and with a never say die attitude forced a punt on fourth down with 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
BSU’s Michael Gagne fumbled the punt and a senior defensive back for VSU, Malcolm Solomon recovered the fumble for the Trojans on the Bulldogs 21 yard line. With 21 seconds left in the game and in great scoring range, VSU’s quarterback, Jarred Battle hooked up with senior wide receiver, Timothy Paulk for a 21 yard TD pass to tie the game at 21-21.
Bowie State won the coin toss and chose to start on defense to begin overtime. VSU rushed five straight times ending with a quarterback sneak for a 2 yard TD score. Rogers Stadium exploded with cheers and fans that left the game a few minutes earlier rushed back inside to witness a great Trojan comeback. The Trojans led 28-21 and then their defense took the field with the Trojan home fans cheering them on.
The Trojans defense stopped the Bulldogs offense on first and goal from 8 yards out to seal the VSU victory. Senior linebacker, Jeremy Pruitt led with 14 tackles, followed by junior Clifton Haney’s 9 tackles, and junior Bryce Willoughby’s 8 totaled. Haney recorded a sack for 3 yards and had 3 tackles for a loss of 7 yards. Junior linebacker, Alandus Beggs also had 3 tackles for a loss of yardage and led VSU with 2 sacks.
Junior quarterback, Jarred Battle rushed for 2 TDs and threw another TD. Battle rushed for a 1 yard TD with 13:26 left in the first half giving VSU the 7-0 lead going into the half. Battle finished the first half completing 9 of 14 attempts for 124 yards. He finished the game 15 of 26 for 187 yards but threw 3 INTs. For the majority of the game, the Trojans rushed the ball.
VSU had 42 rushing attempts for 103 yards controlling the game, averaging 2.5 yards a carry. Freshman running back, Tyler Wilson controlled the game both rushing and receiving finishing with 149 all purpose yards. He had 27 carries for 68 yards and caught 6 passes for 81 yards to lead the team in both categories.
Senior wide receiver, Timothy Paulk only caught 2 passes for 28 yards this game but he caught a 21 yard game-tying TD pass with 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
With a 2-1 CIAA conference record, the Trojans of Virginia State University will travel to Fayetteville, NC for a televised game against the Broncos of Fayetteville State University on Saturday, Oct, 8th.
Junior, Cherish Richardson led the Lady Trojans with 6 kills in a straight-set win
over the Lady Dragons of Virginia University of Lynchburg, 3-0 on Sept. 30th in
VSU played solid offensively and defensively in the three set win over VUL. The Lady Trojans committed a total of 13 errors the entire match and scored on 28 kills. In the first set, VSU won 25-14. The Lady Trojans scored 11 kills in the second set winning 25-7 and won the third set 25-11 improving their overall record to 7-11.
Sophomore, Jasmine Henderson had 19 assists to lead her team and junior, Marissa Townes-Jenkins added 8 assists.
Richardson led VSU with 6 kills while four other Lady Trojans all recorded 4 kills
each; junior Nikkisha Walker, freshman Imani Wood, senior Meagan Whiten, and
freshman Brianna Small.
Defensively, freshman Jennessa Shinauld led with 8 digs and senior Brittini Pittman had 5 digs.
VSU hosted Claflin University on Sunday, October 2.