Rocky Mount, NC – Stevie Green (Washington, NC) was named the 20th Down East Viking Football Classic Most Valuable Offensive Player as the Broncos of Fayetteville State (1-2 overall) fell 45-42 to Elizabeth City State (2-1 overall) in a classic shootout.
Green, last year’s CIAA Rookie of the Year, scrambled 250 yards for four (4) touchdowns on 23 carries. With 2:15 left in the first quarter, he split the middle and dashed 50 yards to the end zone. At the 14:25 mark of the fourth quarter, Stevie hit the sideline and sprinted 66 yards to pay dirt.
“Stevie had a great day today,” said Head Coach Richard Hayes. “He took this kind of personal because he attended Elizabeth City [State] coming out of high school. He kind of felt like he got a bad vibe from them when he was over there. So, he took this game really personal and I really wanted this game for him. He went out and played his heart out. I am really proud of him and his performance.”
Fayetteville State drew first blood with a 20-yard score from Green at the 10:31 mark of the first quarter. Elizabeth City State responded at 8:30 with a 53-yard pass from Daquan Neal to Gregory Bryan. A mishap by the Bronco offense gave the Vikings a two-point safety and a 9-7 lead at 7:25. ECSU tacked on three more points with a 26-yard field goal by Joshua Laverty to increase its lead to 12-7 with 2:38 left in the first quarter.
That is when Green turned on his burners and scorched the field with his second touchdown and a 14-12 lead with 2:15 left.
ECSU regained a 19-14 lead to open the second quarter at 12:18 with a 23-yard dart from Neal to Deshon Saunders.
The Broncos worked the field on the following drive to move the chains 94 yards in eight (8) plays for a five-yard score by Green and a 21-19 score. After a change of possession, FSU increased its lead to a halftime score of 28-19 with a one-yard quarterback keeper by Richard Latimer (Charlotte, NC).
After intermission, Elizabeth City State would secure 16 unanswered points and start the fourth quarter with a 35-28 lead with 14:49 left in the game.
“After a hot first half, we came out in the third quarter, flat,” stated Coach Hayes. “Once we got started, they started scoring and we scored, but we scored quick and it wasn’t giving our defense a chance to rest.”
Stevie Green would tie the score at 35 with his longest rush (66 yards) of the game on the Broncos first play of the fourth quarter.
With 8:51 left in the game, ECSU scored from nine (9) yards out to up the score 42-35 on a Neal-to-Saunders connection.
Week No. 1 CIAA Special Teams’ Player of the Week Brandon Smith took the pursuing kickoff 90 yards to the house and tied score of 42-42.
With 2:50 left in the game, a defensive offside penalty would give ECSU’s Joshua Laverty a second attempt at a 29-yard field goal; which would give the Vikings its ninth Classic victory.
Fayetteville State continues to lead the classic series with a 5-3 advantage.
Fayetteville State will travel to Richmond, Va. next weekend to take on Virginia Union University. The Panthers lost 21-20 to Winston-Salem State this weekend in Hovey Stadium.
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