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College Football | ECSU Vikings beat Saint Augustine's Falcons, win first of season

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Elizabeth City State head coach Anthony Jones celebrates with players as they prepare to douse him with water after their victory over St. Augustine's. The Elizabeth City State Vikings and the St. Augustine's Falcons met in a regular season CIAA football game in Raleigh, N.C. on October 5, 2019. Elizabeth City State wins 27-17.

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From staff reports

Sunday, October 6, 2019

RALEIGH — In a game between two CIAA teams looking for their first win of the season, it was Elizabeth City State that came out on top.

The Vikings defeated the Saint Augustine’s Falcons 27-17 Saturday afternoon.

The win ended an 11-game losing streak and was ECSU's first victory since beating Central State 19-10 in a weather-shortened game on Sept. 1, 2018 at Roebuck Stadium.

The result was the Vikings' first CIAA win since defeating Lincoln (Pa.) 56-18 in Elizabeth City on Oct. 14, 2017.

ECSU (1-4, 1-1 CIAA) jumped out to a great start on the road as it led 20-0 after the first quarter.

The Vikings were beneficiaries of a handful of Saint Augustine’s (0-5, 0-2 CIAA) mistakes and ECSU took advantage.

After the Vikings punted in the game’s opening possession, freshman Reginald Booker forced a fumble from Dontarian Evans on the Falcons’ first offensive play of the game.

ECSU started an offensive drive 19 yards from the end zone and sophomore quarterback Kedrick Patterson eventually hit junior Brandon Joyner for an 11-yard score for a 7-0 lead six minutes into the game

A couple possessions later, junior Greg Williams Jr. blocked a Falcons punt to give the Vikings the ball at the SAU 33-yard line.

Immediately after the block, Patterson threw 33 yards to senior Dajuan Greene for six points and a 13-0 lead with 3:33 left in the quarter.

The Falcons’ Maurice Nelson fumbled on the ensuing possession as SAU lost the football on the first play of a drive for the third time in the first quarter.

Once again, ECSU had great field position at the 25-yard line and took advantage as Patterson ended the possession with a one-yard score and 20-0 lead.

It wasn’t as easy for the Vikings in the second quarter as they punted twice and Patterson threw two interceptions.

Saint Augustine’s had more success offensively early in the second with quarterback D’Ontr Gilliard finding Joe Baker for a seven-yard touchdown pass and Andre Labat hitting a 34-yard field goal to cut the Falcons’ deficit to 20-10 at the time.

That’s where the score stood at halftime.

Gilliard threw a pick late in the second quarter to ECSU’s Taeyonn Reynolds for the fourth turnover of SAU’s first half.

The second half’s first 10 possessions combined included eight punts with just one first down by the Falcons on those drives and back-to-back interceptions.

After ECSU’s Patterson was picked for a second time, Saint Augustine’s moved 46 yards on six plays before Reynolds earned his second interception on a long pass to the ECSU five-yard line.

With 7:50 left in the fourth quarter, the Falcons got within three points of the Vikings when Gilliard hit Aakiel Greer for a 37-yard score.

The touchdown followed a costly roughing the passer call on ECSU that if not called, it would have been third down.

The Vikings then had about as ideal a drive they could’ve wanted.

Sophomore Zion Riddick returned the ensuing kick 47 yards to the SAU 38-yard line and ECSU proceeded to kill 6:50 off the clock with senior Deshon Saunders running five yards for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal.

The score made it 27-17 with 19 seconds left.

The biggest play of the drive came with under four minutes to go.

A holding call on ECSU forced a third-and-16 at the SAU 44. Patterson, however, completed a pass to Greene for 16 yards and a first down as it extended the drive to eventually put the game away.

Patterson was 13-of-29 passing for 121 yards, three picks and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 51 yards.

Greene had seven catches for 79 yards and a score, while Saunders rushed for 66 of the Vikings’ 153 yards on the ground.

PHOTO GALLERY: Go to www.DailyAdvance.com/photos to view a photo gallery from Saturday’s game.

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