College Football | No. 13 Bowie State beats ECSU | w/Video
By Malcolm Shields
Sunday, November 10, 2019
In recent games against Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Northern Division teams, the Elizabeth City State football team had found ways to compete against its division rivals.
On Saturday afternoon, the Vikings had their toughest test of the conference season against division foe Bowie State.
Bowie State displayed why it is one of the top teams in Division II football as the Bulldogs secured a 60-21 victory against the Vikings inside Roebuck Stadium.
The Bulldogs (10-0, 7-0 CIAA), who entered the game with a trip to the CIAA championship game secured as the division champion, scored 19 first-quarter points against the Vikings to spoil ECSU’s senior day.
Bowie State is also the No. 13 ranked team in Division II football in the latest American Football Coaches Association poll.
If it was via the pass or the run, the Bowie State offense seemed to have the right call against the ECSU defense.
BSU quarterback Ja’Rome Johnson gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead on a touchdown run of 45 yards.
Johnson sprinted into the end zone nearly untouched.
Bowie State’s Calil Wilkins gave the Bulldogs a 13-0 lead on a 43-yard touchdown run where it also appeared he was not touched by an ECSU defender.
Johnson added a touchdown pass to Deron Smith to increase the BSU lead to 19-0 late in the first quarter.
The ECSU offense had its struggles against the Bowie State defense in the first quarter.
The Vikings were forced to punt multiple times in the quarter, while ECSU starting quarterback Kedrick Patterson was under pressure from the Bowie State defense.
The Vikings also could not establish the running game.
The ECSU defense got a break in the second quarter when ECSU defensive back Greg Williams intercepted Johnson to set up the Vikings with good field position.
Following the Williams interception on defense, ECSU made a change at quarterback as Kevin Caldwell entered the game.
ECSU (2-8, 2-5 CIAA) got good runs by Deshon Saunders on the drive, which set up a Caldwell 9-yard touchdown pass to Dajuan Greene to cut the ECSU deficit to 19-7 early in the second quarter.
Bowie State countered on its ensuing possession by going to a hurry-up offense.
Johnson was able to complete key passes and ended the drive on a 30-yard touchdown run to increase the BSU lead to 26-7 with less than nine minutes remaining in the second quarter.
The Vikings were able to move the ball inside BSU territory, but the drive ended on a Caldwell interception.
The pass by Caldwell was an attempt to get wide receiver Deon Yarborough a chance to make play on the ball, but Bowie State’s Demetri Morsell secured the interception.
Late in the half, Bowie State recovered an ECSU fumble by Saunders.
Bowie State closed out the half with a Johnson touchdown pass to Montez Clay with 35 seconds remaining in the second.
Bowie State took a 33-7 lead at halftime.
Bowie State scored 13 points in the third quarter and 14 points in the fourth quarter and held a 53-7 advantage in the second half.
The Vikings scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Patterson led both scoring drives against a BSU defense that had some reserves on the field.
ECSU defensive lineman Christopher Little recovered a fumble on defense.
That occurred after a Patterson interception in the end zone.
The fumble recovery led to a D’Quan Napper 1-yard touchdown run for the Vikings.
The Vikings’ final score of the game was on a Patterson to Greene 3-yard touchdown fade pass into the end zone with five minutes left in the game.
Bowie State tallied 480 of total offense, while ECSU had less than 300 yards of total offense.
The ECSU offense finished the game 1-of-10 on third down conversions.
ECSU concludes its 2019 football season Friday at 1 p.m. against NAIA program Allen University inside Roebuck Stadium.
The game was initially scheduled for Sept. 7, but Hurricane Dorian forced the contest to be postponed until November.