Defense, Big Plays Spark Homecoming Win Over ECSU
MURFREESBORO, N.C. – The Chowan Football team picked up their second win in the series over rival, Elizabeth City State, on Saturday evening in CIAA action on CU Homecoming Weekend, 28-18.
FINAL | Chowan 28, Elizabeth City State 18
RECORDS | Chowan 3-5 (3-2), Elizabeth City State 4-4 (2-3)
LOCATION | Murfreesboro, N.C. (Garrison Stadium)
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
Bryce Witt posted his second career 300+ yard contest with 313 yards through the air on 16-25 passes. Witt threw three touchdown passes, all to Torry Baker.
Torry Baker hauled in seven catches for 185 yards and three touchdowns, tying him for third most in a single contest.
Tyrell Freeman was the workhorse for the Hawks totaling 16 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown. Freeman notched his third 100+ yard game of the season and first rushing touchdown of the season.
Randy Allen Jr. and Dakota Baer led the Hawks defensively with 15 and 10 tackles respectively.
David Harden had a sack, forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in the win. Ahmond Gomez picked off a pass for 26 yards.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Chowan received the opening kick of the contest and found paydirt two plays later. Tyrell Freeman rattled off the second longest rush in program history with a 74-yd bruising run for the Hawks touchdown. Connor Killeenconnected on the PAT for the 7-0 just 57 seconds into the game.
ECSU used a 45 yard kick-off return to set the Vikings up across midfield for their opening drive of the contest. Quarterback Daquan Neal used his legs to gain most of the yards on the drive as the Hawks' defense held the Vikings to a 31-yd field goal.
On the next CU possession, the Hawks methodically moved the ball down the field to extend their lead to 14-3. Chowan used an 11 play 70 yard drive that took 5:26 off the clock. Bryce Witt connected with Ra'Cee Lucas to start the drive with a quick pass. Witt found Torry Baker and Herman Dupas for first down throws. Short bursts by Tyrell Freeman pushed the ball into the redzone for the Hawks.
Kourtney Johnson picked up a first down with a strong run of 12 yards before Bryce Witt found Torry Baker on a slant for the 11-yd throw and catch.
The Vikings were unable to answer the remainder of the half as ECSU had to punt on their second drive.
Chowan's defense stood tall after a turnover at midfield forcing a redzone turnover. ECSU marched the ball down to the CU16 but Rafiq Abdul-Wahid and Ulysses Amanfu stopped the Vikings short on fourth down.
On the opening drive of the quarter for the Hawks, Chowan started at their own 13-yd line. After an ECSU timeout on third down, Bryce Witt would find a wide-open Torry Baker down the left side-line for their second touchdown connection on a 72-yd gain.
Killeen connected on the PAT giving the Hawks a 21-3 lead.
ECSU moved the ball down the field on the ground as the Hawks' defense harassed the Vikings' quarterback. On fourth down, the Vikings elected to go-for-it but Ahmond Gomez stepped into the throwing lane and picked off the pass returning the interception near midfield.
The Hawks were unable to move the ball after a first down and had to punt.
Chowan's defense took the ball away once again as David Harden recovered a fumble at the CU38.
CU went into the locker room with a 21-3 lead.
The Vikings shook off their first half woes and moved the ball down the field for their first touchdown in the contest on a 13 play 82 yard drive, cutting the Hawks' lead to 21-10.
Tyrell Freeman picked up 12 yards on the first play for the Hawks in the half. Bryce Witt found Torry Baker once more on the second play with a 58-yd strike to push the Hawks back out in front 28-10.
Both teams were forced to punt on their final drives of the quarter.
To open the fourth quarter, Reggie Lee picked up a sack on fourth down turning the ball over to Chowan at the ECSU 25.
Bryce Witt moved the ball to the ECSU 12 on a fourth down completion to Herman Dupas Jr. Witt was looking to connect with Torry Baker for their fourth touchdown of the contest but was intercepted stalling the drive.
ECSU used the momentum to march the ball down the field for the touchdown using a 13 play 90-yd drive. The Vikings converted the two-point conversion to cut the contest to 28-18 midway through the final quarter.
The Hawks' defense stepped up after two quick drives as ECSU started a drive with 1:15 remaining in the game. The Vikings moved the ball quickly into Hawks' territory before David Harden's pressure of the quarterback forced a fumble and returned by Antwuan Hicks for 32 yards.
Chowan only needed to kneel one-time to run the clock out for the victory.
Chowan hosts nationally-ranked Virginia State on Saturday, October 28 in the final home game of the season. Kick-off is at 1pm.