In the third annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic, the Virginia Union Panthers emerged victorious, defeating the Morehouse Maroon Tigers 42-13.
This is the second straight since this classic’s inception to feature a CIAA team facing off against an SIAC team.
Virginia Union’s win evens the series after Central State defeated Winston-Salem State 41-21 in last year’s game.
Reigning CIAA Offensive Player of the Year, Jada Byers picked up where he left off last season, recording 147 rushing yards on 24 attempts and scoring three touchdowns.
Panthers’ quarterback Christian Reid completed an efficient 11-of-15 pass attempts for 153 yards and scored a touchdown.
Despite less-than-spectacular numbers, recording 127 passing yards on 13-of-30 passing, Derrach West showcased his potential to keep plays alive with his feet and use his vision to locate open receivers.
The Morehouse defense did their best to keep the team in this game, putting pressure on the Panthers’ offensive line for much of the first half. They recorded four sacks and forced a fumble, all in the first half.
However, whenever the Maroon Tigers began building momentum on offense, Virginia Union made a timely stop to keep control of the game.
In the second quarter, gaining traction on a sustained offensive drive, West threw a pick to Jabrill Norman, which he returned for a touchdown to give the Panthers a 14-7 lead.
Though, the turning point in this game came with 3:26 remaining in the third quarter. As Morehouse drove the ball on offense into Virginia Union territory, looking to tie the game, the Panthers forced a fumble, regaining possession.
Still leading 14-7, the momentum completely swung in the Panthers’ favor, scoring touchdowns on each of their next four offensive possessions on their way to victory.