Chowan University scored 15 unanswered points during most of the fourth quarter, but Bowie State University (BSU) redshirt sophomore Keith Brown rushed for a 57 yard touchdown with 39 seconds left to lift the Bulldogs to a thrilling 35-31 victory on Oct. 6 in Murfreesboro, N.C.
Brown finished the game with a career-high 132 rushing yards and two touchdowns to lead Bowie State. The victory snapped a two game losing streak and improved the Bulldogs’ record to 4-2 (1-2 CIAA).
Chowan missed a great opportunity to score early when they fumbled deep in Bowie State territory on their opening drive. Bowie State was unable to capitalize and turned the ball back over to Chowan on downs.
Chowan’s third red zone trip finally resulted a positive result, when junior quarterback Cameron Stover rushed for an eight-yard touchdown with 1:20 left in the first quarter for the game's first six points. Alex Noboa added the extra point to give Chowan a 7-0 advantage. Stover completed eight of his 12 first quarter passes for 108 yards, but was intercepted once by BSU redshirt freshman Antoine Young.
Bowie State quickly responded with 14:53 left in the second quarter when redshirt sophomore Jared Johnston flipped a short five-yard pass to sophomore Khari Lee for a touchdown. Redshirt sophomore Mario Diaz-Aviles converted the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.
Bulldogs junior Corwin Acker provided a second quarter spark with two huge runs of 46 and 24 yards that put Bowie State deep in Chowan territory. Sophomore Keith Brown rushed for a four-yard touchdown run to give Bowie State a 14-7 lead at the 10:26 mark of the second quarter.
Bowie State defense’s pressured Stover in the first half, sacking him four times, with sophomores Oladimeji Layeni recording three and Eric Walters recording one first half sacks.
Bowie State's Johnston scampered around the right end for a 49 yard touchdown run on the Bulldogs' first play from scrimmage to open the third quarter. The Diaz-Aviles extra point gave Bowie State a 21-7 cushion.
With 12:13 left in the third quarter, Naboa booted a 27 yard field goal to trim the Chowan deficit to 21-10. But the Bulldogs extended their lead to 28-10 following a 1-yard rush up the middle by Johnston with 5:58 to play in the third, capping off an 11-play, 81 yard drive.
An exciting 40-yard reception by sophomore receiver Antjuan Randall put the Hawks in Bulldogs territory at the 15 yard line. Two plays later, JR Williams found paydirt from five yards out. Chowan went for two, but the conversion was picked off in the end zone, setting the score at 28-16.
Chowan (3-3, 2-1 CIAA) inched closer at the 13:53 mark of the final quarter, following a one yard run by Adrian Ferns. Noboa added the extra point, cutting the Bowie State lead to 28-23.
Faced with a fourth-and-12 situation, Stover connected with Randall for a 26 yard gain and crucial first down. Stover hit Damien Ellis for a seven-yard touchdown with 6:45 remaining. Stover found Randall for the two-point conversion, putting the Hawks back in front at 31-28.
Bowie State had one last opportunity with 2:43 remaining in the game. Faced with a third and three from the Chowan 43 yard line, Brown rumbled 57 yards for a Bulldogs touchdown, shifting the advantage back to Bowie State at 35-31 with 39 seconds left to play as time ran out.
Johnston led Bowie State with 164 passing yards, and completed 16-of-29 passes. Senior Douglas McNeil, III led BSU with 54 reception yards and Lee added 50 yards. Young and Walters were Bowie State's top defenders with 11 tackles each.
Stover threw for a game-high 311 yards, completing 22-of-33 passes. Sophomore Ryan Nolan was his leading target, with 130 yards on nine catches.
Bowie State will host the Trojans of Virginia State University for Homecoming 2012 on Oct. 13. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in BSU's Bulldogs Stadium.