By Tevin Hayles
After the bleachers of Bulldog stadium were vacated by warm bodies and the lights were shut off on Saturday evening, the field of Bulldog Stadium still wreaked of joy, encouragement, and sweat.
The Bowie State Bulldogs had just held off the surging Chowan Hawks for a 17-14 win. Bowie students, alumni, and players simultaneously erupted in cheers when the clock hit zero, like a well-tuned orchestra that was tone deaf.
But all jokes aside, it was a sight to see but an even better feeling to witness for someone who bleeds black and gold. As for Chowan students and fans… well let’s not get negative trying to figure out what went through their heads after the game.
Heading into this matchup, there was a lot of hype seeing as both teams had an identical record of four wins and one loss. Bowie’s calling card all season had been its air-it-out offense led by Quarterback Matthew Groggans, Graduate Student and already a four time CIAA Quarterback of the Week receipt this season.
Unfortunately, Groggans was not about to play due to the NCAA stepping in and saying he had insufficient paperwork from his previous school. So it was up to senior quarterback Trevon Bennett to lead the charge in place of Groggan. The change in quarterback would change the mentally of the game.
The 3-0 Bowie lead at the half would cement that notion as the Bowie defense locked down the Hawks great rushing attack and the offense ran the ball more and quick, rhythmic passing. When the Hawks took a lead in 3rd quarter with a touchdown, a little hope seemed to dwindle.
However, an underrated aspect-one that is not mentioned enough as a key factor in competition-started showed itself as the night fell.
It was momentum and it came in the form of two fumbles by the Hawks. Each fumble led to a touchdown pass from Bennett, one to redshirt junior wide receiver Nyme Mann after a muffled punt return and another to senior wide receiver Jamal Chappell after a Chowan fumble on offense. Chowan would rebound with a touchdown late in the 4th to bring the game with three. That would be the final score as the Bulldog defense held a last stand by forcing a four and out on the Hawks last drive.
The Bulldogs sideline erupted with cheers and with good reason too. “We haven’t won a homecoming game in six or seven year”, explained junior offensive lineman Nick Brooks. “Our seniors haven’t won a homecoming game.”
With a 5-1 record, the Bulldogs are poised for a remarkable season. But let’s take the time appreciate this win and accomplishment. Ay Ay Ay Ayyyy Boowwiee!!!!!