Murfreesboro, N.C. – The visiting No. 3 Virginia State University football team collected another win, 26-23, to remain undefeated after a road victory against the Hawks of Chowan University. With the win, the Trojans move to a 8-0 overall record, 6-0 in the CIAA, and 5-0 in the Northern Division; while the host Chowan University Hawks move to a 3-6 overall record, 3-3 in the CIAA and 1-4 in the Northern Division. The last time the Trojans were 8-0 was in 1931.
In the opening quarter, quarterback Cordelral Cook (Atlanta, GA) rushed for six yards, in addition to an extra point by Cesar Alfaro (Alexandria, VA), to give the Trojans a 7-0 edge over the Hawks. Chowan then answered with a one yard run by Tyrell Freeman and a extra point by Connor Killeen to tie the game 7-7 at the 8:32 mark in the first quarter. Chowan’s Bryan Bryant then returned a punt return for nine yards coupled with a kick by Connor Killeen to give the Hawks a 14-7 lead. Closing out the first quarter Trenton “The Boom” Cannon (Hampton, VA) had an explosive play, rushing for 31 yards to close the scoring gap, 13-14. On the play, senior Trenton Cannon beat VSU’s George Leonard’s all-time career rushing record, which was 3,575 yards set in 1979.
Both teams entered the second quarter with the same momentum, as each team added one touchdown respectively. Host Chowan University added points at the 10:08 mark when quarterback Bryce Witt connected with Tyrell Freeman on a 20 yard pass in addition to an extra point to edge the Hawks, 13-20, over the Trojans. VSU continued to rally, taking things one play at a time. The Trojans made a big play when junior Shakym Peters (Newport News, VA) intercepted the ball at the VSU 13 yard line. Senior Trenton Cannon then rushed for nine yards downing the ball at the VSU 22 yard line. Quarterback Cordelral Cook connected with Joshua Harris (King William, VA) for a five yard pass to down the ball at the VSU 27 yard line. Cook then connected with Willie Stubblefield (Richmond, VA) for a 17 yard pass, spotting the ball on the VSU 44 yard line. The Cannon had an explosive two yard rush, spotting the ball on the VSU 46 yard line. Cook would then connect with Quincy Watts for a 21 yard pass to down the ball on the Chowan one yard line. Senior Trenton Cannon then rushed for one yard into the end zone to closing the score gap 19-20 at the half.
Impressive plays on defense by both teams made the third quarter scoreless. In the final quarter, the two teams traded turnovers. Chowan coughed up a fumble and VSU gave up an interception. The fourth quarter was the battle of the wills for both teams as the Trojans secured an early 26-20 lead at the 12:12 mark. The Hawks then battled to get into field goal range to collect three points at the 7:24 mark, bringing the score to 26-23, making it a very close game.
Chowan’s quarterback Bryce Witt faked a handoff and found an opening for a QB run with little over a minute left in the contest. With the opening and an opportunity to score a run, he ran toward the end zone hoping to give the Hawks the lead and to win the game. A block by a Trojan forced the Hawks quarterback to try and jump over the VSU player, but the ball falls out of his hand. The Trojans then recovered the ball to give VSU the possession to run the clock down for the victory.
Leading the charge offensively for the Trojans was senior Trenton Cannon who rushed for 164 yards and collected two touchdowns on 26 carries, becoming Virginia State’s all-time leading rusher, currently holding 3,672 career yards. He also broke his own school record for most rushing yards in a season, currently with 1,280 yards. Cannon completed the competition with a total of 184 yards. Quarterback Cordelral Cook completed 72 percent of his passes for 182 yards and a touchdown; along with also rushing for a touchdown. Sophomore Quincy Watts (Virginia Beach, VA) led all receivers with 80 reception yards on six catches.
Virginia State racked up 402 total yards of offense compared to 336 for Chowan University.
Junior Malik Sexton (Portsmouth, VA) and senior Brandon Lynch (Norfolk, VA) was Virginia State’s leading tacklers with 10 each. Senior Alexander Williams (Brooklyn, NY) had 1.5 sacks and seven total tackles for VSU. Thomas Koufie (Hampton, VA) and Keonte Connelly (Baltimore, MD) both collected six tackles for the Trojans, followed by Kevonte Demery (Richmond, VA) who recorded five.
Next, the Trojans will return home for their final home game of the regular season. VSU will host the Panthers of Virginia Union University on Saturday, November 4 with kickoff slated for 2 p.m.
Courtesy: VSU Athletics