HBCU Football Review: Week One

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: August 30, 2009

NEW YORK – If there was a pattern for the opening weekend of HBCU football, it would be the offensive explosion of many teams. Take the defending CIAA champions from Shaw for example.

Defensive back Quintez Smith returned three interceptions for touchdowns, including two in the decisive fourth quarter, as the host Bears used huge plays from its defense to blow open a close game and down Elizabeth City State 54-30 in a rematch of last year’s CIAA Championship game at Raleigh.

With the game tied at 24 after three quarters, the Bears outscored the Vikings 30-6 over the game’s final 15 minutes to win. Following a 47-yard touchdown run by ECSU’s Daronte McNeill, that put the Vikings ahead 30-27 with 13:00 remaining, Shaw’s defense converted interceptions into touchdowns on three successive possessions in an eight minute span to put the game away.

In another high-scoring affair, UNC Pembroke outlasted Fayetteville State 41-34 in double overtime. UNCP’s Jamal Williams pulled in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Cory Smith for the game-winning score in the inaugural Two Rivers Classic at Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium.

The Braves had an over-whelming 537 yards of offense to the Broncos 365. The majority of its offense came from 353 rushing yards while FSU mustarded up 130. FSU out-threw UNCP 235-184, but the momentum swung in favor of the Braves with 9-of-18 third down conversions. FSU was challenged at 2-of-11.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Lincoln (Pa.) 41, Cheyney 20

In the Wade Wilson Classic, the Lions got their first win against an NCAA opponent since restarting football last year in defeating their crosstown rivals from Cheyney. The Wolves got off to a quick start in the first quarter when Stan Banks intercepted Lincoln’s first play of the game.

Quarterback Malik White marched Cheyney the field to setup Tyler Wilkinson’s 27 yard field goal. From there, Lincoln would score 27 unanswered points before Wilkinson ended the first half with a 41 yard field goal.

The Lions defense dominated Cheyney as they scored 18 points and recovered a fumble that later led to two touchdowns. For the day, Lincoln forced 5 fumbles and had 3 interceptions.

Cheyney’s offense was limited to 124 rushing yards and 124 passing.

This was the first time the two teams competed against each other since 1946. Lincoln leads the all-time series 8-1-1.