Aug. 29, 2009
Fayetteville, NC - To conclude an exciting week of activities, UNC Pembroke's Jamal Williams pulled in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Cory Smith to go up 41-34 in the double overtime Two Rivers Classic. The Broncos (facing fourth down and 17 yards to go and its final chance at second tie or victory) scrambled all receivers from the 19-yard line and held it's breathe as Benjamin Williams escaped a collapsing pocket and dart toward the right side field. Hosting a homecoming-like capacity of 8,321 fans, Luther "Nick" Jeralds Stadium erupted with cheers and distress as Terrel Partlow tackled Williams on UNCP's seven-yard line to end the game. The Two Rivers Cup will now travel down I-95 to bask on the campus of UNC Pembroke until the rematch next year.
UNC Pembroke was first on the scoreboard with 1:34 remaining in the first quarter. Josh Throckmorton pulled in a four-yard pass from Smith for the 7-0 lead. On its first drive of the second quarter, Fayetteville State responded with a 60-yard scoring drive in less than two minutes. Benjamin Williams, who finished the game 235 yards of passing, connected with Kendon Doe for a 25-yard score. Williams threw the ball 28 times and connected on 16 of them. With no interceptions, he was sacked twice.
The Braves went into halftime with a one touchdown lead after Rashon Kennedy walked into the endzone on a three-yard play.
With 14:41 ticking in the third quarter, RB Calvin Harris made good on a 30-yard pass from Ben Williams. As the Classic continued with spectacular highlights, the Braves once again moved ahead 21-14 with a three-yard scoring run from Travis Daniels with 8:37 left in the quarter. Harris scored his second touchdown of the night when he tipped through the defense on a 26-yard run at 6:24.
The fourth quarter began to dwindle away with a tied 21-21 score, until UNCP's Travis Daniels tilted the momentum in favor of the Braves. His 89-yard touchdown run filled the air with chants as his teammates hoisted him up with thanks and gratitude.
Not to be out-done, Ben Williams took the next play from scrimmage 61-yards down the field with an air attack to Barry Dunn; which once again tied the score.
UNCP Kicker Taylor Baskett missed a 20-yard field goal attempt at the 11:04 mark of the fourth quarter. He would redeem himself with 42 seconds remaining in regulation with a boot through the uprights from 31 yards back and a 31-28 lead.
The final kickoff of regulation, landed in Jeffery Brooks hand on the FSU 12-yard line. The senior running back advanced the ball 31 yards up the field to start the Broncos drive on its 43-yard line with 30 seconds on the clock. Williams threw two incomplete passes to Kendon Doe; but the third time was a charm as he connected the third attempt for 12 yards on UNCP's 45-yard line. After a timeout with 12 seconds pounding away, Williams highlighted Doe as his favorite receiver as Doe hauled in a 23-yard pass that ended on the Braves 23-yard line. Kendon Doe led the receiving corps with five catches and 89 yards. Rushing the get the next play off, the referees whistled UNCP for having 12 men on the field.
With time for only one play, FSU had all the confidence in the world in its kicker Austin Turner. Turner nailed all four of his PAT kicks and punted the ball seven times for 320 yards. His longest punt was for 84 yards. Strong Safety and holder Jeffery Gowdy set the ball for Turner to foot it 34 yards and send the classic into overtime at 31-31.
With first possession in overtime, Turner gives the Broncos its final lead of 34-31 with a 19-yard field goal.
Taylor Baskett hit his second field goal of the night from 21 yards out to stall the crowd from exiting Jeralds Stadium with a 34-34 tied score.
UNCP will continue to carry the nation's second-longest winning streak after tonight's victory over Fayetteville State. The last loss for the Braves came in the form of a road loss to Wingate (23-16) on September 13. Minnesota-Duluth, the reigning national champion, currently has a stranglehold on the nation's longest winning streak (16), while the Braves are tied with Central Oklahoma with the nation's second-longest skein.
The Braves had an over-whelming 537 yards of offense to the Broncos 365. The majority of its offense came from 353 rushing yards while FSU mustarded up 130. FSU out-threw UNCP 235-184, but the momentum swung in favor of the Braves with 9-of-18 third down conversions. FSU was challenged at 2-of-11.
Calvin Harris rushed for 60 net yards with two yards for a loss while Jeffery Brooks totaled 142 kickoff return yards. Joseph Brown and Marcos Esquivel led the defense with 14 and 13 tackles respectfully.
Travis Daniels racked up the rushing yards with 213 net yards. Rashon Kennedy broke the triple digit mark in rushing with 101 yards. Cory Smith completed 18 of 24 passes for 184 yards and no picks.
The Broncos, who were ranked 24th by the AFCA, will host the Catawba Indians on Saturday, September 5th in another 6:00 pm clash in Luther "Nick" Jeralds Stadium.