Written by: Jashawn Steward-Johnson
Fayetteville, NC -- The Fayetteville State University football team opened their CIAA schedule with a 22-16 loss to Northern Division foe Virginia Union University on Saturday, September 24th at Luther "Nick" Jeralds Stadium. FSU moves to 0-4 in the standings, while the Panthers improve to 2-2 overall.
Virginia Union's running back William Stanback scored all three of the Panthers' touchdowns, including an electric 45 yard run near the end of the third quarter that turned out to be the go-ahead touchdown for the Panthers.
VUU scored first after JeanClaude Brooks made a 28-yard field goal in the opening possession. That was the only score of the first quarter. The Broncos started off the second quarter with a 41-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Devin Knudsen (Fresno, CA) to sophomore wide receiver Gedari Liverman (Elizabeth City, NC) to give FSU their only lead for the game.
Later in the second, Stanback scored on a three yard run after punt returner Lavatiae Kelly returned a punt 77 yards. At halftime, the score was 10-9 in favor of the Panthers. Before the end of the first half, senior kicker Matthew Trau (Montross, VA) made a 37 yarder to narrow the lead.
In the third quarter, Virginia Union struck first again when Stanback scored his second touchdown of the night. The Broncos would tie up the game 16-16 on the next drive. The TD was a five yard pass to senior fullback DeAnthony Brooks (Greensboro, NC) from junior quarterback DeMarius Davis (Sarasota, FL). Davis set up the score on the previous play with a 45-yard reception to junior wide receiver Avery Redden (Fayetteville, NC), which kept the drive alive.
The dagger for the Broncos was Stanback's third and final touchdown. Neither Fayetteville State nor the Panthers produced any additional points in the fourth quarter.
Virginia Union had 311 yards of total offense versus Fayetteville State's 253 yards of total offense. The Panthers had 253 rushing yards alone as RB Stanback had a 199 yard performance on 31 carries and Kevin Green had 7 carries for 51 yards.
Knudsen split quarterbacking duties with starter Davis. Knudsen went 7-of-10 passing for 68 yards and a touchdown, while Davis went 7-of-11 for 89 yards and a touchdown and led the Broncos in rushing with 55 yards on 13 rushes. Neither quarterback threw an interception. Redshirt freshman running back Stevie Green (Washington, NC) added 44 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Fayetteville State will look to get their first win of the season and in the conference as they travel to Bowie State University on October 1st. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at Bulldogs Stadium in Bowie, MD.
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