Hawks Earn Historic Win over Delaware State
The Chowan University football team held off a late rally by Delaware State University and took home a thrilling 31-30 victory against the Hornets on Saturday afternoon. The victory was the first win over an NCAA Division I opponent for the football team in program history. The Hawks improve to 2-1 on the season with the win while the Hornets drop to 0-3 on the year.
Chowan tallied 503 total offensive yards in the contest while holding Delaware State to 266 yards over the course of the competition. Randall Dixon threw for 200 yards in the win, completing 13 of 22 passes for two touchdowns. He connected with five different Chowan receivers including Kaine Lombard seven times for 95 yards and one touchdown, Damian Ellis three times for 64 yards, and Anthony Elliot twice for 51 yards and one touchdown. Marcus Hampton led the Hawks on the ground with 29 carries for 126 yards and one touchdown while Tyree Lee tallied eight carries for 64 yards highlighted by one touchdown run.
Willie Thompson had five total tackles in the win for Chowan (four solo, one assisted) followed by Demetrius Newberry with four tackles (three solo, one assisted). The Hawks' defense accounted for three tackles for loss (14 yards), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception (17 yards), and six pass breakups.
Jamaal Jackson led the effort for the Hornets with 16 carries for 81 yards and one touchdown while Esayah Obada completed a mere seven passes out of 21 attempts for 71 yards and one touchdown. Gil Rivera entered the game in-relief and threw one touchdown pass in the setback. Aris Scott had two receptions for a team-high 38 yards while Malik Golson accounted for a Delaware State score with two receptions totaling 20 yards.
Jihad Abdur-Rahman totaled 13 tackles in the loss (seven solo, six assisted), leading all players in the contest. Malik Harris followed with 12 tackles (six solo, six assisted), one tackle for loss (four yards) and one interception (46 yards).
The Hawks wasted no time grabbing control of the momentum, scoring each of their first three possessions of the game.
With 12:21 on the clock in the first quarter, Lee's three yard touchdown run capped a four play, 66 yard drive to quickly leave the Hornets trailing. Nick Hahula made good on the point after attempt to give Chowan a 7-0 advantage less than four minutes into the game. Dixon later found Anthony Elliot on an 11 yard pass with 2:21 remaining in the first quarter and Hahula's point after attempt was good to give Chowan a comfortable 14-0 lead. At the start of the second quarter, a five play, 54 yard drive concluded with Dixon's 23 yard pass to Lombard and another score for the Chowan Blue and White. The successful point after attempt pushed the Hawks ahead 21-0.
Down but not out, the Hornets rallied to score 14 unanswered points before halftime to cut the deficit to 21-14.
At the start of the third quarter, the Hornets and Hawks exchanged field goals, making the score 24-17. Chowan responded at the 5:58 mark in the third quarter when Torell Saffold intercepted a pass from Obado and returned it 17 yards to Delaware State's 24-yard line. The Hawks capitalized on the situation and used eight plays before Hampton's one yard touchdown run lifted Chowan to a 30-17 advantage. Hahula's point after attempt was good, leaving the Hornets trailing 31-17 by the end of the third quarter.
Delaware State opened the fourth quarter with a three play, 51 yard touchdown drive to put the Hornets back within striking distance. The point after attempt was good, making the score 31-24 with 13:33 left in the game.
The Hornets forced the Hawks to turn the ball over on downs with just under two minutes remaining in the contest and the ball at the Delaware State 31-yard line. A 69 yard drive highlighted by Rivera's seven yard touchdown pass to Kamal Abrams made the score 31-30 with under one minute to play. The point after attempt missed wide right, giving the Hawks all they would need to secure the historic victory.
Chowan looks to continue the momentum on Saturday, September 26th when the Hawks begin CIAA play against Saint Augustine's University. Kick-off is slated for 1:00pm. Saturday's contest is Chowan's home opener and is also the annual Hall of Fame game.