Oct. 3, 2009
MURFREESBORO - The Fayetteville State rushing attack has struggled for most of the season.
Saturday, it came to life.
Senior running back Calvin Harris ran for career-high 141 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries to lead the Broncos to a 37-17 win over Chowan.
"It feels good to get the ball," said Harris. "They were over pursuing a lot, so I was just cutting back. But, what really helped was that our offensive line dominated them."
With Raleigh native and regular starter Richard Medlin banged up Harris, who had gained just 148 yards this season, helped the FSU (3-3, 2-2 CIAA) offense roll up 268 yards rushing (a season high) and 434 total yards.
"Calvin is one of those hard working guys," Broncos head coach Kenny Phillips said. "He has a knack for making people miss and running the football well."
In two all-time meetings FSU has outscored Chowan 97-38.
The Broncos defense limited the Hawks' all-everything quarterback C.J. Westler to only 161 yards passing and intercepted the CIAA's top passer twice.
"I take my hat off to the defensive guys," said Phillips. "We did a good job of keeping him contained and not allowing him to throw the ball down the field. The kids played hard and we got after those guys real hard and came out with a victory."
Tyler Hosler got the start at quarterback for the Broncos, his first at FSU. He finished 9-for-28 for 166 yards a touchdown and an interception.
"I thought he did pretty well," Phillips said. "He missed some passes, but overall, with game management, I thought he did a pretty decent job for us."
Hosler was a little more critical of himself.
"I think I made some OK plays, but I have a lot to work on," he said. "I made some short throws that needed to be a little bit longer. I think I definitely still have a lot to work on."
With FSU leading 10-3 - after an Austin Turner
field goal and a three-yard touchdown run by Rasheen Pinckney
- senior linebacker Gerard Atkinson
stepped in front of a Westler pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.
It was the third defensive touchdown for FSU this season. In its last two games the Broncos' defense has allowed a combined 170 yards passing.
Seven Bronco defenders recorded four or more solo tackles and as a team FSU amassed 10 tackles for loss.
"We hate losing and we had that taste in our mouth all week after last week's game," Hosler said. "That's what we focused on all week and it helped us get the victory."
On Saturday, FSU will host Shaw University at 1 p.m. The game will be nationally televised, serves as the Broncos' senior day and could very well decide the CIAA's Western Division race.
Harris said he and his teammates will be ready.
"This game has been circled for a while," he said. "It's really the deciding factor of what we want to do. If we lose it we're pretty much out for the championship."