BOWIE, Md. – For the first time in school history, the Bowie State football team will advance to the NCAA DII Football Playoffs Quarterfinals after capturing a 13-10 victory over Newberry College Saturday.
The Bulldogs (12-1) will now face the No. 1 seed Valdosta State (10-1) for the Super Region 2 title game on Dec. 4 in Valdosta, Ga., at the Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.
No. 10 Bowie State held the Wolves to 214 yards of total offense while the Bulldogs owned 264 yards of total offense of their own.
Typically, BSU is known for their run game but BSU was limited to a season-low 20 yards rushing. Nevertheless, this afternoon’s performance showed versatility as the Bulldogs put up 244 yard through the air compared to 84 from Newberry.
Senior Ja’rome Johnson led the play making efforts, completing 15 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns while redshirt sophomore Keshane Hinckley recorded a season-high 132 yards on five catches and two scores.
Defensively, the Bulldogs had two players record nine tackles apiece featuring graduate seniors Wesley Bowers and Ellison Jordan. Both Bowers and Jordan tabbed a sack and a tackle for loss, each.
For the first time this season, Bowie State did not score in the opening half.
In fact, both defenses were so competitive that neither team scored in the first half.
Both teams opened the second half with three-and-outs before Johnson went down with an injury and things shifted in favor of Newberry after a fumble from backup and junior Larry Williams led to a Wolves recovery and the game’s first red zone look of the afternoon.
Five plays later, Newberry scored to take a 7-0 lead at the 8:11 mark of the third quarter.
The Bulldogs scored their first touchdown of the afternoon when Johnson re-entered, finding Hinckley for 68 yard toss to break even heading into the fourth quarter.
The 7-all mark would remain until under 3:00 left when Newberry hit a 48-yard field goal ignited by a seven-play drive to regain the lead 10-7 over Bowie State.
However, like all season, the Bulldogs never got rattled as BSU used a 52-yard stride along the sidelines for their second red zone opportunity, which led to a 10-yard reception for Hinckley from Johnson that would put the Bulldogs ahead 13-10.
No surprise from one of the nation’s top defense, the Bulldogs continued to show why their defense is amongst the best – forcing a fumble during the last drive for Newberry that would lead to Bowie State taking over in victory formation.