Dover, Del. (Sep. 19, 2015) —Delaware State nearly overcame a 21-point deficit, but came up short in the final minute of 31-30 loss to Chowan in the Hornets’ 2015 home opener in sunny and hot conditions at Alumni Stadium this afternoon.
DSU pulled to within 31-30 on a seven-yard touchdown pass from second-string quarterback Gil Rivera to Kamal Abrams with 59 seconds left to play, but the Hornets failed to tie the game when Jeremiah McGeough missed the extra point kick. McGeough, the Hornets’ punter, attempted the kick because regular placekicker Wisdom Nzidee was suffering from cramps.
The Hornets attempted an onsides kick following the missed extra point, but Chowan emerged with the ball following a brief scramble to seal the win.
The Hawks improved to 2-1 this season, while Hornets fell to 0-3.
Marcus Hampton rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown on 26 attempts, while quarterback Randall Dixon completed 13-of-22 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns to lead Division II Chowan.
The Hawks had a balanced offensive attack, rushing for 251 yards, while passing for 237.
Delaware State collected 256 total yards, 130 by the pass and 126 on the ground.
Jamaal Jackson ran for 76 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown for the Hornets. Esayah Obado and Rivera each threw a touchdown pass for DSU. Obado’s scoring toss to Malik Golson was the first of his career. The Hornet starting quarterback did not finish the contest, however, also due to cramps.
Chowan scored on its first two possessions to open up a 14-0 lead. Its second touchdown capped off a 92-yard drive that began when Obado lost a fumble at the Hawks’ eight yard line following a first down run.
The Hawks opened up a 21-0 lead when Dixon connected with Kaine Lombard on a 23 yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter.
Delaware State’s defense forced Chowan turnovers on back-to-back possessions late in the second quarter to get the Hornets back into the game.
J.R. Robinson intercepted a Dixon pass at the Hornet 42-yard line and darted 58 yards down the sideline for his first career touchdown to get the Hornets on the board. Nzidee’s extra point kick pulled DSU to within 21-7 with 4:56 left in the second quarter.
On the ensuing Chowan possession, DSU linebacker picked off a pass from Dixon and ran 46 yards on the return to the Hawks’ 10.
Three plays later, Obado found Golson in the endzone for the Hornets’ second touchdown of the game. It was the first offensive touchdown for the Hornets in six quarter. The extra point kick by Nzidee cut Chowan’s lead to 21-14 with 1:36 left to go before halftime.
The Hornets nearly tied the game after the defense forced a third Chowan turnover on the opening possession of the third quarter. DSU’s Gabe Sherrod forced a fumble that was scooped up teammate Rashawn Barrett, who ran 46 yards on the return to the Hawks’ 19 yard line
DSU could only gain four yards on a possession and had to settle for a 32-yard field goal by Nzidee to pull to within 21-17 with 9:59 left in the third quarter.
Chowan ran off 10 consecutive points to stretch its lead to 31-17. Nick Hahula nailed a 30-yard field goal and Hampton scored on a one-yard run to account for the Hawks’ scoring. The Hampton touchdown capped off a drive that started when Vicente’ Stafford intercepted an Obado pass and ran 17 yards on the return to the DSU 24.
The Hornets pulled to within seven points when Jackson sprinted around the left end and down the sideline for a 42-yard touchdown with 13:33 left in the fourth quarter. It was his second touchdown of the season and longest scoring run of his career.
Delaware State’s final possession began at its 31 yard line with 1:57 and Rivera in at quarterback. Rivera connected with Aris Scott on a 33-yard pass to the Chowan 36 on the first play of the drive. He also completed a 14-yard pass to Brycen Alleyne to the Hawks’ 22. Rivera’s seven-yard touchdown pass to Abrams was on second-and-goal with 59 seconds left.
The Hornets will be idle next week (Sep. 26); and return to action against Morgan State in their MEAC opener on Oct. 3. Game time is 2 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.
The touchdown catch by Abrams was the second of his collegiate career. The former Dover (Del.) star had one scoring catch at Connecticut, where he competed for three seasons before transferring to DSU
The interception by Malik Harris was the first of his career.
Hornet defensive lineman Jihad Abdur-Rahman led all players with a career-high 13 tackles, including seven solo stops.
Sherrod had seven tackles, including a sack and two other stops behind the line of scrimmage.
Courtesy: Delaware State Athletics