BOWIE, Md. – The #4 seed Bulldogs left it all on the field in Saturday’s (11/18) NCAA Super Region 2 – First Round contest against the visiting #5 Delta State Statesmen, falling short in the end by a score of 45-35 to conclude the Bowie State football season at 9-2. This was Bowie State’s first time hosting an NCAA football playoff game.
Junior Amir Hall (Bowie, Md.) led Bowie State in passing (332 yards) and rushing (66 yards) while redshirt freshman Montez Clay (Baltimore, Md.) paced the Bulldogs with 80 reception yards. Senior Daivon Nixon (Laurel, Md.) and junior Derrick Tate (Baltimore, Md.) were Bowie State’s top tacklers with seven each in the loss.
Delta State opened the scoring with a 28-yard field goal from Vince Sciorrotta at the 8:28 mark of the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead. Bowie State responded with a 10-play, 87-yard drive that Hall capped with a two-yard touchdown pass to Lansana Sesay (Bowie, Md.) as the Bulldogs grabbed a 7-3 lead.
The Statesmen answered the call by rattling off 28 straight points on their next four drives as Delta State took a 31-7 lead with 2:54 to go in the first half of play.
The Statesmen’s Breck Ruddick’s first touchdown of the afternoon gave Delta State the lead back at 10-7 with 2:15 to play in the first quarter, and after the defense forced a three-and-out, Kam Myers hauled in one of only four completed passes by DSU in the game for a 15-yard touchdown that gave the visitors a 17-7 lead after one quarter.
Delta State (9-3) kept their foot on the gas pedal to open the second stanza, as a 41-yard touchdown scamper by Ruddick and a 32-yard touchdown rush from Chris Robinson put the Statesmen on top 31-7 with 2:54 left in the half.
The Bulldogs took the ensuing kickoff and covered 59 yards in 11 plays, and Hall found redshirt senior Brandon Britton from 13 yards out to cut the lead down to 17 (31-14), where it would remain as the first half ended.
The third quarter belonged to the homestanding Bulldogs, who put up 21 unanswered third quarter points to storm back and take a 35-31 lead as the two teams headed to the final stanza.
Bowie State’s Hall rushed for a score from two-yards out at the 9:28 mark of the third quarter to trim the deficit to 31-21, and forced a Statesmen fumble on the ensuing kickoff to set up a Robert Chesson (Annapolis, Md.) one-yard touchdown run just 24 seconds later to pull within three points at 31-28. Chesson was held to a season-low 18 rushing yards.
Just over four minutes later, Hall led a 6-play, 71-yard drive that he punctuated himself on a 14-yard touchdown rush, his second of the game, and the Bulldogs carried the 35-31 lead into the final quarter of action.
Delta State leaned on Chris Robinson in the final quarter of play as he responded with a pair of 3-yard touchdown runs as the Statesmen outscored the Bulldogs 14-0 in the fourth to secure the win. Robinson scored the go-ahead touchdown with 5:58 left in the fourth, and then helped ice the game away as the Statesmen drove 97 yards on just six plays to take a 45-35 lead that proved to be the final score.
Like BSU’s Hall, Ruddick led Delta State in rushing (164 yards) and passing (61 yards). Landry Tullo garnered a game-high nine tackles for the Statesmen and Dante Williams recorded eight tackles.
Courtesy: BSU Athletics