Derek Bryant had a "lights out" performance in the Broncos' 33-20 win over VA State with over 400 yards passing, four TDs, and no turnovers
Sept. 26, 2015

Box Score

Ettrick, VA – The Fayetteville State University football team beat defending CIAA champion Virginia State University 33-20 on Saturday, September 26th inside a rain-soaked Rogers Stadium. FSU improves to 1-3 overall and 1-0 in conference, while the Trojans fall to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the CIAA.

The Broncos jumped out to a 19-0 lead with three passing touchdowns from senior quarterback Derek Bryant (Carrboro, NC). On the first offensive possession, Bryant connected with senior wide receiver Tavon Gatlin (Virginia Beach, VA) for a 62-yard scoring strike. The first quarter ended with VSU trailing 7-0.

Bryant and Gatlin were the scoring connection again for Fayetteville State at the beginning of the second. Gatlin snagged a catch out of the air and managed to get one foot down in the back of the end zone for a TD. Senior wide receiver Chris Hubert (Apex, NC) nestled in a 32 yard TD reception with one hand for the next score.

FSU held a 19-0 advantage until late into the second quarter. Freshman place kicker David Lamb (Pineville, NC) seemed effected by the wet field conditions. He missed the extra points on the last two touchdowns.

Virginia State crossed the goal line just before the end of the first half. Walter Harold had a three yard pass over the middle to Javon Smallwood for a TD. VSU completed a 14-play, 92 yard drive and left 58 seconds on the clock in the second quarter.

Fayetteville State managed to drive down to the VSU four yard line with four seconds remaining. The 24-yard field goal attempt sailed left and hit the crossbar to miss. The Trojans went into halftime with a 19-7 deficit.

Senior running back Andre Montgomery (Goldsboro, NC) dug a deeper hole for the Trojans scoring at the start of the third. Montgomery battered his way into the end zone from 12 yards out to cap a four play drive. The extra point was blocked to account for a 25-7 Broncos’ lead.



VSU responded with two consecutive touchdowns in the third quarter. Trenton Cannon scored on a 13 yard run. Later in the quarter, Harold threw a 25 yard TD pass to Gene Holloman. Earl Hughes was stopped short of the goal line on the two-point conversion rush attempt. FSU held onto a 25-20 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Broncos lost a fumble on their first offensive series of the fourth. Bryant completed a 52 yard pass to Hubert; the ball was freed upon contact with the ground. The officials called a fumble, which Malik Sexton recovered at the VSU 28 yard line. Two plays later, junior defensive back Eric Henderson (Charlotte, NC) intercepted the ball and regained possession for Fayetteville State.

FSU iced the game with another touchdown reception late in the quarter. Bryant to Hubert again for a 32-yard score with 2:23 left to play. Gatlin caught a two-point conversion pass for a 33-20 score in favor of the Broncos.

Virginia State failed to score in the fourth and had their 17-game win streak over CIAA opponents ended. FSU earned their first victory over the Trojans since 2011 and their first at VSU since 2010. Head coach Lawrence Kershaw also records his first career victory over Virginia State; which happens to be his alma mater.

“We just executed the whole game; had a little lull in there where it wasn't going as good but we just stuck with the plan,” said Kershaw. We knew VSU was going to make some plays; they are a good football team. We stuck with what we were doing and made plays. We needed a drive to close out the game and we got it.”

Bryant completed 28-of-39 (71%) of his passes for 430 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. He received NCAA Division II “Make It Yours” Player of the Game honors for his performance. Hubert caught a game-high 12 passes for 184 yards and two TDs. Gatlin finished with nine catches for a game-high 186 yards and two scores.

Senior defensive end Thomas Perry (Windsor, NC) collected five solo tackles, including a sack for a loss of eight. Henderson also had five solo tackles and an interception.

Fayetteville State returns home for their next matchup against The Lincoln University on Saturday, October 3rd. This contest marks the annual “Ball in Pink” and Military Appreciation game at FSU. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium.

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