Sep 8, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, NC - The season-opening game held in Fayetteville, NC featured two head coaches who are embarking on their new careers. Virginia State's Latrell Scott took over the Trojan's program after being at the helm of the University of Richmond's program for one season. Lawrence Kershaw heads the Broncos of Fayetteville State in his first head coach position.
The proverbial test, of who had the better up-start program, came down to the last play of the game.
With his team in field goal position, Devonte Hunt shouldered the pressure and avoided a diving Bronco for a 30-yard kick that split the up-rights with triple zeros on the clock. The extended arms of the officials sent the visiting sideline into pandemonium and downhearted the full home crowd with the 29-28 score in favor of Virginia State.
Fayetteville State received the opening kickoff; but went three-and-out with its first possession. An Antonio Mayo (Jr. - Jacksonville, NC) 57-yard punt positioned the VSU Trojans on its 4-yard line for its first attempt on offense.
The Broncos defense forced quarterback Justin Thorpe to fumble on the Trojans' eight-yard line where Travis Scales (Fr. - Southern Pines, NC) recovered the ball for FSU. The first points of the game were scored at the 13:16 mark by QB Jemeryn Jenkins (Jr. - San Bernardino, CA); as he scampered for the eight-yard run-in.
The Trojans second attempt at a drive lasted 16 plays and encompassed 54 yards; but was botched by a 19-yard missed field goal that went wide left by Devonte Hunt.
Fayetteville State took over on downs after the missed attempt; on its 20-yard line. After moving the ball 18 yards in five plays, Jemeryn Jenkins threw his sixth pass of the game and connected with Kasunn Williams (Jr. - Rocky Mount, NC) for 62 yards and the Broncos second touchdown with 2:02 left in the first quarter.
Virginia State found some consistency in their run game as the ground attack helped eat up 72 yards on 12 plays. The Trojans' Lamont Britt reached the end-zone with a two-yard rush to cut the deficit to 6-14 with 11:57 left to play in the first half. The trick play on the extra-point attempt failed due to illegal motion by VSU.
On the Trojans next possession, Korey Lyzenga booted a 69-yard punt that was downed on the Broncos 10-yard line. A gallant defensive stand by VSU forced FSU to punt from its 15-yard line. The ball soared past Mayo (the punter) and out of the back of the end-zone for a safety; which added two points to the Trojans come-back effort.
On the pursuing VSU possession, the Bronco defense flexed its muscle once again as Marquel Gathers (So. Smithfield, NC) forced Lamont Britt to fumble on the Trojans 39-yard line. Defensive Captain John Brown (Jr. - Fayetteville, NC) recovered the fumble and advanced it for a defensive score and a 21-8 lead with 4:50 left in the half.
Fayetteville State took to the locker room at intermission with a 13-point lead; but had a staggering seven penalties for 70 yards over-shadowed FSU's first half success. Virginia State minimized its penalties to two for a loss of five yards total. The Trojans coughed up two turnovers for which one end in points for the Broncos.
After the break, the Broncos eventually began its first drive of the second half on its 31-yard line with 11:36 on the clock. FSU quickly marched its way to the VSU six-yard line with aspirations of increasing its lead. After a dropped pass by Kasann Williams in a second-and-goal situation, two false start penalties sent Fayetteville State backwards to the 16-yard line.
Jemeryn Jenkins gave Williams a shot at redemption with a completed pass into the end-zone; but the yellow laundry on the play erased the cheers and delight as Williams was flagged with offensive pass interference.
With another third-and-goal opportunity, but this time from the VSU 31-yard line, Jenkins hit #19 (Williams) once again in the end-zone. The score rejuvenated life in the home stands as the Broncos increased the score 28-8 with 6:49 left in the third quarter.
Virginia State bounced back during the next possession with an 11-play 74-yard drive that ended with Thorpe connecting with Jaivon Smallwood on a 13-yard scoring pass.
Trailing 28-14, VSU's linebacker George Feggins picked off a pass from Jenkins on the Fayetteville State 30-yard line. With 1:04 left in the third quarter, Jordan Anderson pounded the 30 yards with three rushing attempts to help VSU trial by only eight points (28-20). His third attempt crossed the goal line from 17 yards out and no time remaining in the quarter.
For the entire quarter, FSU collected five penalties that added up to 42 yards.
The miscues would soon begin to unravel the Broncos.
With the eight-point lead, FSU returned the kickoff 40 yards for its drive to start on the 50-yard line. The Broncos advanced 29 yards in six plays but failed on a 37-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide left with 12:23 left in the game.
The momentum swing continued to move in favor of the Trojans. Even though the Bronco defense forced VSU to face a 3rd down and 26-situation, a pass interference penalty advanced the Trojans and gave them a fresh set of downs. A few plays later, an unsportsmanlike penalty (15 yards) and illegal procedure call (10 yards) on FSU place the Trojans within scoring distance. Jordan Anderson rushed into the end-zone from five yards out to bring Virginia State within two points, 26-28, with 6:41 left in the game. VSU attempted to tie the score on a two-point conversion, but the pass attempt was broken up by the Broncos. Thirty-two yards of the 79-yard drive came from FSU penalties.
Motivated by the possibilities, the Trojan defense held strong on Bronco drive and forced FSU to punt after six plays and eight yards.
Three minutes and forty-two seconds stood on the clock and the Trojans had the ball on its 15-yard line. VSU put the ball in the air and caught another break with a pass interference call; which gave Virginia State a fresh set of downs on its 35-yard line. Justin Thorpe found Gene Holloman down the field for 31 yards where he stepped out of bounds at the Broncos 29-yard line. Thorpe connected with Markee Brooks three plays later for ten yards and a first-and-ten possession on the Broncos 16-yard line. Jordan Anderson would reach the 12-yard line with Coach Scott calling a timeout with 0:04 left in the game and an opportunity to win the game with one play left.
Virginia State monopolized the time on the clock with 40:27 of possession time. VSU had the ball 10:51 in the first quarter and 12:01 in the fourth. Fayetteville ran a fast-pace offense that detained the ball for 17:29 of the game.
The Trojans racked up 400 total yards on offense with 85 plays. 207 yards were gained through the air on 21-of-29 attempts. The ground game collected 193 yards on 56 rushes. VSU lost two fumbles in the first half and avoided throwing any picks. Four flags were thrown at Virginia State for 25 yards.
Jordan Anderson rushed 29 yards for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Justin Thorpe was 21-of-29 in passing for 207 yards. He threw for one touchdown and was sacked twice. Markee Brooks pulled in seven of the passes for 56 yards.
Fayetteville State had 285 yards of total offense on 47 plays. The Broncos made its way through the air with 219 passing yards on 13-of-25 attempts and one interception thrown. FSU rushed the ball 22 times for 66 yards. Eighteen penalties were whistled against Fayetteville State that added up to 175 yards.
Jemeryn Jenkins had the longest pass of 62 yards and two touchdowns. He ran the ball 12 times for 26 yards and one score.
With the one-back offensive set, Andre Montgomery (So. - Goldsboro, NC) and Colon Bailey, Jr. (Sr. - Manteo, NC) both had three touches each. Montgomery finished the game with 22 yards while Bailey had 18.
Kasunn Williams snatched down 12 receptions for 121 yards and two scores. Williams pulled in the 62-yard scurry.
Michael Johnson (Jr. - Raleigh, NC) led the defense with a game-high 15 tackles (10 solo - 5 assisted). Courtney Tate (Sr. - Virginia Beach, VA) and Marquel Gathers combined for a quarter sack for a loss of five yards. Tate finished with 11 tackles while Gathers finished with ten. Thomas Perry (So. - Windsor, NC) also finished with ten tackles and one sack for three yards. He had two tackles for a loss of four yards.
Virginia State will enjoy the comeback victory and travel to East Rutherford, NJ for a matchup against Benedict in the New York Urban League Classic.
Fayetteville State will have a week to regroup and adjust as the Broncos play host to UNC Pembroke in the 5th annual Two Rivers Classic. Game time is slated for 6:00 pm in Jeralds stadium.