Bowie State claimed its third consecutive CIAA Football Championship Saturday afternoon, topping Fayetteville State 17-7 at Salem Stadium.
The win also marks the third straight season Bowie State has defeated Fayetteville State in the title game. The Bulldogs become just the fifth school in history to three-peat and just the second school remaining to do so within the CIAA.
Senior Calil Wilkins was named the 2021 Food Lion CIAA Most Valuable Player after rushing for 163-yards on 25 carries, surpassing the 1,000th mark this season in rushing yards. Senior Ja’rome Johnson threw seven complete passes for 99-yards and two touchdowns while receivers in graduate senior Victor Olayinka and redshirt sophomore Quron Winder both caught a touchdown pass.
Defensively, graduate senior Myles Wolfolk registered a season-high 11 total tackles, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble while redshirt sophomore Jonathan Ross added 10 tackles, 3.5 tackles for losses and two sacks.
The Bulldogs wasted no time getting on the scoreboard after using a four-play drive worth 68-yards capped off by a 10-yard reception touchdown for Winder with 11:54 on the game clock. BSU scored again with under 50 seconds left in the opening quarter – this time on a nine-yard reception score for Olayinka that provided the Bulldogs with a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Broncos got in the red zone after a pair of first downs from Avery McCall during the second frame but the Bulldogs’ stifling defense picked up a huge stop forcing FSU to turnover on downs. Following a turnover on downs for Bowie State, the remainder of the second quarter resulted in three and outs for both teams as BSU rode the 14-0 lead into halftime.
FSU had a chance to scratch the scoreboard but an attempted 33-yard field goal went right with 10:27 left in the third quarter. However, the Broncos did catch a break when Braxton Knotts scored on a 26-yard reception to cut the Bulldogs lead 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
A key defensive moment for the Bulldogs came at the 13:05 mark when Fayetteville State’s Ke’Mo Stockdale ran up the middle on a 37-yard pass but Wolfolk stripped the ball and caused a fumble as senior Tevin Singleton recovered giving the Bulldogs the ball on their 32-yard line – although the Bulldogs did not score on that drive, that sequence switched the momentum of the game in favor of Bowie State.
In fact, over the next pair of drives, neither team would score again until redshirt freshman Alen Omerhodzic drilled a 33-yard field goal to lift the Bulldogs to a 17-7 lead which would ultimately seal the win for the Bulldogs.
For the game, FSU held a slight advantage over the Bulldogs in total offense, 298-282 but the Bulldogs posted 183-rushing yards (209 gained) compared to the Broncos 193 and held a 30:15 to 29:45 time of possession advantage.
Courtesy: Bowie State Athletics