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BOWIE, Md. - The Bowie State University football team jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead and had to hold off a second half surge by Virginia Union University before claiming a 40-22 CIAA divisional win on Saturday afternoon. With the win the #23 Bulldogs improve to 7-1 overall, 4-1 in CIAA play and 2-1 in the North.bsu bulldog

Redshirt senior Robert Chesson (Annapolis, Md.) accounted for 293 all-purpose yards (167 rushing and 126 receiving) and junior Amir Hall (Bowie, Md.) completed 25-of-44 passes for 386 yards to lead the Bulldogs. Chesson had two rushing as well as two receiving touchdowns while Hall threw for three scores.

Senior Johnny Littlejohn (Silver Spring, Md.) and redshirt sophomore Oluwaleke Ajenifuja (Beltsville, Md.) paced the Bulldogs defense with eight tackles each. Junior Derrick Tate (Baltimore, Md.) tallied seven total tackles to go along with a forced fumble and two quarterback hurries and redshirt sophomore Tommar Phillips (Lanham, Md.) contributed five tackles on the afternoon.

Virginia Union (5-3, 4-1 CIAA, 2-1 North) was led offensively by quarterback Darius Taylor (Washington, D.C.) with 179 passing yards, completing 14-of-41 passes (two interceptions) and two touchdowns. Taylor was also the top ground gainer for the Panthers, rushing for 96 yards on 12 carries. Chazton McKenzie (Lauderhill, Fla.) was Virginia Union’s leading receiver with 75 yards on four receptions. Karl Calhoun (Sanford, Fla.) racked up a game-high 10 tackles (8 solo) for the Panthers while Sterling Hammond (Caret, Va.) ranked second on the team in tackles with seven.

Chesson scored Bowie State’s first two touchdowns, a 7-yard reception from Hall in the first quarter (9:09) and a 2-yard rushing touchdown early in the second quarter at the 13:03 mark to put the Bulldogs in front 14-0.

Sophomore Gene Carson (Accokeek, Md.) kicked a 35-yard field goal at the 9:51 mark of the second quarter and drilled a 21-yard field with 30 seconds left in the first half to push the Bowie State lead to 20-0.

Chesson recorded his second rushing touchdown of the game at the 9:10 mark of the third quarter, pounding in from 3-yards out for a 27-0 cushion.

Virginia Union finally got on the scoreboard with 3:24 left in the third quarter when Taylor connected with Jewison Dawkins (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) for a 5-yard score, capping off a 13 play, 69-yard drive. However, the Jefferson Souza (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) extra point was missed, creating a 27-6 score.

The Panthers used a trick play to score their next six points, when wide receiver Lavatiae Kelly (Miami, Fla.) took a pitch and hurled a 39-yard touchdown pass to McKenzie, trimming the Virginia Union deficit to 27-13 with 1:13 left in the third quarter.

Virginia Union made it interesting early in the fourth quarter on a Taylor to Aaquil Ingram-Harrow (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 20-yard pass, catch and score, cutting the Bowie State lead down to 27-20 with 13:52 on the clock.

Bowie State got six points back on the Bulldogs second possession of the fourth quarter when Hall flip a short pass the Chesson who went on to scamper 63 yards for the touchdown. However, the Panthers blocked the PAT and returned it for the two-point defensive score, but Virginia Union trailed 33-22 at the 9:06 mark.

The Bulldogs took over on downs late in the fourth quarter and scored its final points on a 16-yard pass from Hall to freshman Marquise Watts (La Plata, Md.) to secure the 40-22 victory.

Bowie State will close out its home schedule next Saturday (October 28), hosting winless Lincoln University of Pennsylvania for Homecoming 2017 at 1 p.m. in Bulldogs Stadium.

~ Bowie State Sports Information


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