PEMBROKE, NC - The Fayetteville State Broncos (0-2 overall) suffered a 31-21 defeat to the UNC Pembroke Braves under rainy conditions at Grace P. Johnson Stadium on Saturday evening in the Fourth Annual Two Rivers Classic. Prior to the third drive of the game with 7:48 on the clock, the game was extended one hour and 21 minutes due to lightning strikes within the area.
This is the third time in the four meetings that Fayetteville State has been defeated by ten points or less against UNC Pembroke. The Braves slipped by the Broncos in the inaugural meeting with a 41-34 double-overtime victory in Fayetteville. Last season at Luther "Nick" Jeralds Stadium, Fayetteville State fell by two field goals, 33-27.
"We had some opportunities in the second half as a football team," said head coach Kenny Phillips. "We just couldn't capitalize on them."
UNC Pembroke (1-1 overall) would strike first on its opening drive of the game on a Matt Davis 44-yard field goal to go in front 3-0, but then the game would be delayed due to lightning. The Braves came back out after the delay and wasted little time on their following drive as Damonte Terry's one-yard touchdown run capped an 11 play, 57-yard drive and made it a 10-0 contest.
The Broncos came back after the touchdown with 14 unanswered points of their own to take a 14-10 lead on touchdown runs by Andreas Hudson (Sr., Philadelphia, PA) and Colon Bailey, Jr. (Jr., Manteo, NC). The quarterback sneak by Hudson highlighted the nine-play drive covering 79 yards in 4:56, while the touchdown run by Bailey finished off a drive similar to the first scoring series for Fayetteville State. It went 10 plays for 75 yards in 4:44 right before the end of the first half. That would be the score heading into halftime as the Broncos outgained the Braves 192-115 yards, and Hudson went a perfect 7-of-7 passing for 90 yards. Tyrel Bryant-Dove (Fr., Fayetteville, NC) had a team-high 47 yards rushing in the opening half.
UNC Pembroke held Fayetteville State to just 20 yards, and two punts, in its first two drives to open the second half and then put together back-to-back touchdown drives giving the Braves a 24-14 lead. Terry scored his second touchdown of the game on UNC Pembroke's opening drive of the second half, and then Elliott Powell scored on the Braves' first play of the next drive from 69-yards out.
The Broncos would trim the deficit to 24-21 with 9:40 remaining in the fourth quarter on a fumble recovery by Donald Johnson (So., Warsaw, NC). Johnson picked up the fumble by Powell and returned it 20 yards for the touchdown. UNC Pembroke took advantage of several Bronco penalties on its final drive. The Braves used 6:41 off the clock during the drive, which covered 65 yards on 15 plays, and ended when Terry plunged in from one-yard out to extend the lead to 31-21.
Fayetteville State finished the game with 318 yards of total offense, while UNC Pembroke had 325. Hudson went 10-of-20 for 134 yards through the air for the Broncos, and Bryant-Dove had 66 yards on nine carries. Kasunn Williams (So., Rocky Mount, NC) led Fayetteville State in receiving with 88 yards on three receptions.
The Broncos will host Virginia Union in their home opener at Luther "Nick" Jeralds Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. It will be Community & Youth Appreciation Day in Fayetteville. Community and Youth groups can contact the department at (910) 672-1314 to request group tickets.