Missed Opportunities Cost FSU Broncos in 40-47 loss to VA Union

Sept. 23, 2017

Richmond, VA - Fayetteville State (1-3 overall, 0-1 CIAA) may have fallen behind 33-10 at halftime to Virginia Union (2-2 overall, 1-0 CIAA), in Richmond, VA, but not all hope was gone. Unfortunately, a 47-40 loss at Hovey Field left the Broncos deflated.

Head Coach Richard Hayes admitted that he needed to do a better job motivating the Broncos at the start of the second half. Down by 23 points, Coach did just that.

Starting freshman quarterback Richard Latimer (Charlotte, NC) connected with Curtis Burston (Brooklyn, NY) twice in the third quarter for 14 unanswered points and a 24-33 game. On the opening drive of the second half, Latimer found Burston on a post route which led to a 58-yard touchdown with 13:03 left on the clock. On the Broncos following possession, he hit Burston on a slant for 76 yards with 9:24 left. David Lamb booted both extra points.

After a Virginia Union score and the closeout of the third quarter, Fayetteville State drove its first possession of the fourth period 78 yards on eight (8) plays into the end zone with a two-yard push-of-the-pile by Darnell Walker (Charlotte, NC). With 11:21 left in the game, Walker was successful on the two-point conversion in like fashion for a 32-40 game.

After forcing the Panthers into a turnover on downs. FSU took possession with 8:27 left in the game and the ball on its 30. Stevie Green (Washington, NC) and Donshel Jetton (Mooresville, NC) paired up to move the chains. Jetton hit a 16-yard stretch to set the Broncos up for a first-and-goal on the eight-yard line. Two plays later, Jetton squirted through the middle for a tied ball game at 40-40 with 4:49 left. Latimer's two-point pass to Christopher Brooks (Walkertown, NC) was good.

Needing to make a defensive stop on the ensuing drive, FSU allowed Virginia Union to convert two third-down possessions. The Panthers started the drive on its 25-yard line. Facing a 3rd-and-5 on the VUU-30, a defensive pass interference reset the downs and placed the ball on the VUU-45. Digressing to a 3rd-and-11 situation, VUU advanced the chains to the FSU-44 with its air attack. Continuing through the air, Virginia Union converted a 1st-and-10 possession into a 16-yard touchdown with 32 seconds left in the game and a 47-40 lead.

An unsportsmanlike VUU penalty following the score would help Fayetteville State begin its final drive on its 35-yard line with 27 seconds left. Latimer threw to Stevie Green [15 yards] to reach centerfield and twice to Tristan Walker (Raleigh, NC) [25 yards] to reach the Panthers' 25.

FSU had three opportunities to tie the game. The first fell incomplete before VUU called a timeout with eight (8) seconds left. The second pass went high and deep into the end zone and left one-second and the last opportunity. The game ended on an interception.

Latimer finished the game with 211 yards on 13-28-2 passing. His two throwing TDs were to Burston, who had two catches for 134 yards. Green led the game with 129 rushing yards on 28 carries and one touchdown.  Jetton had 117 yards and a score with 12 touches.

Virginia Union had 511 yards of total offense. The Panthers threw for 383 and rushed for 128 yards. VUU converted 10 of 17 third downs.

Fayetteville State University will host Bowie State University next Saturday in Luther "Nick" Jeralds Stadium for its second conference game of the season. Kickoff is slated for 1 pm.



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