Sept. 15, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, NC - The fifth annual Two Rivers Classic returned to the campus of Fayetteville State with new life. Fayetteville State (0-2 overall) took a ten point lead (24-14) into halftime; but 24 unanswered points by UNC Pembroke (2-0 overall) dispersed the Broncos.
UNC Pembroke landed on the scoreboard first with 5:51 left in the first quarter. L.J. Stroman returned a 52-yard punt after the Broncos third drive. The Braves had an opportunity to score on its third drive; but after driving the ball 72 yards in seven plays, Connor Haskins hit the left upright from 19 yards out.
The Bronco offense found rhythm within its game plan on the pursuing drive when Jemeryn Jenkins (Jr. - San Bernardino, CA) hooked up with Antonio Allen (Sr. - Raleigh, NC) for a 45-yard aerial strike with 4:41 on the clock. Fayetteville State proceeded with its next drive to march 69 yards in seven plays and score on a 26-yards pass from Jenkins to Tavon Gatlin (Jr. - Virginia Beach, VA). The score increased to 14-7 with 14:11 in the second quarter. The Broncos increased its lead by a field goal on its next drive when Antonio Mayo (Jr. - Jacksonville, NC) nailed a 20-yarder with 7:27 remaining.
Trailing by ten points (7-17); Luke Charles of UNCP completed 10-of-12 passes within an 80-yard drive to close the gap to three points. From the three-yard line, Charles found John Rich in the end-zone for the score. The 13-play drive ticked 4:04 off the board and left 3:23 in the first half.
The Fayetteville State spread offense continued to click on all cylinders with its final possession of the half with 3:16 left and the ball on its 22-yard line. On a third-and-six situation on the start of the drive, Jenkins found Kasunn Williams (Jr. - Rocky Mount, NC) streaking down the sideline for a 42-yard reception. The Broncos continued to move the chains until Jenkins crossed the goal line on an 11-yard scamper with 33 seconds left and a 24-14 lead.
(Jr. - Carson City, NV) ended UNC Pembroke's last shot at scoring when he blocked the Braves 46-yard field goal attempt as the first half expired.
After all of the halftime adjustments, the second half belonged to the Braves. Fayetteville State missed out on six drive attempts. FSU was forced to punt on four of the drives while one ended on downs and the other was picked off.
John Rich crossed the goal line for UNC Pembroke from five yards out to cut the score to 21-24 with 6:39 left in the third quarter. After Stroman intercepted the Broncos pass and returned it 48 yards to the FSU two-yard line, Demetrius Fairl gave the Braves a 28-24 lead on a one-yard walk-in.
The Braves returned to the end-zone with its next drive after Charles threw a floater to Rich. The UNCP lead increased to 35-24 with 49 seconds in the quarter.
UNC Pembroke secured rights to the Two Rivers Cup when Haskins hit a 25-yard field goal with 5:14 left in the game and a 38-24 lead.
UNCP won the game with 424 yards on 81 plays. The Braves completed 45 of 63 passes for 401 yards and gained 23 yards of rushing on 18 attempts.
FSU finished with 371 total yards on 64 plays. Jenkins threw for 245 yards on 13 of 27 passes. The ground game amassed 126 yards on 37 carries. Jenkins led all rushers with 60 yards on 20 tucks. Andre Montgomery (So. - Goldsboro, NC) followed with 11 carries and 51 yards. Kasunn Williams finished with another stellar night with 126 yards receiving with three catches.
UNCP will head to Wilmington to take on Shaw in the inaugural Cape Fear Classic at Legion Stadium.
Fayetteville State will travel to Richmond, VA next weekend for a 7:00 pm matchup with Virginia Union.