Fayetteville, NC - Freshman defensive back Elvin De La Rosa (Winston-Salem, NC) did exactly what his coaches preached and grabbed his first collegiate pick-six in Fayetteville State's 21-31 loss to Wingate University, during the Broncos home-opener. The defensive score gave the Broncos a 14-0 lead after the first two drives of the game.
Fayetteville State (1-1 overall) marched 65 yards into the end zone on the game's opening drive with a one-yard quarterback keeper from Kane Banner (Lumberton, NC). On Wingate's pursuing drive, facing a third-and-ten situation, James Whitaker threw to the flats and into the waiting hands De La Rosa.
"I was just reading three steps just like my coaches taught me to do," said De La Rosa. "I trust in my coach and I did it."
Wingate (2-0 overall) responded with 17 unanswered points for a three-point halftime lead (17-14). The Bulldogs added to its lead in the third quarter for a 24-14 advantage with 5:59 remaining.
Quarterback Devin Knudsen (Fresno, CA) steered the Broncos back to within three (24-21) in the fourth quarter with a 20-yard heave to Jonathan Transou (Winston-Salem, NC). The scoring drive at the 11:05 mark ended a 50-play series that took all of seven plays to move the chains.
"We got some good inside zone run plays be Stevie [Green] and the other guys," said Knudsen. "We were able to hit a little screen to Tristan Walker which setup [the scoring] play.
The Wingate Bulldogs would manage seven more points with 6:58 left in the game for the 31-21 victory.
"I am really proud of how the guys fought today," said Head Coach Richard Hayes. "They played a little bit over their heads, early, and then they settled down and got into the flow of the game. Wingate is a very good football team. I told my guys all week that this is going to be one of the toughest teams that they will face this year. We have to learn to play four full quarters."
Knudsen finished with 74 passing yards on 7-of-13 attempts and one INT. The Broncos finished with 117 passing yards. Banner threw for 43 yards (4-14-1) and rushed for 18.
Fayetteville State will travel to Rocky Mount, NC next weekend for a non-conference matchup against Elizabeth City State (1-1 overall) in the 20th Down East Viking Football Classic. The Vikings recently suffered a 66-14 loss to UNC Pembroke.
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