Chowan University Hawks nixed by questionable call in homecoming game

Published 10:52 am Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jim Hart/Contributing Writer

MURFREESBORO, N.C.—The Chowan University Hawks hosted the Elizabeth City State University Vikings for their Homecoming this past Saturday. In what was anticipated to be a heated rivalry game, it left nothing on the table as both teams fought a hard battle to the very end including having to go into overtime with a 31-31 tie and the end of regular play.

The Vikings were able to strike first with a touchdown with 10:49 left in the first quarter and with a successful extra point, took the lead 7-0. With both teams scoring field goals in the second quarter but with no touchdowns, the first half closed out with Chowan down 10-3.

Chowan came out blazing in the second half with DaSean Martin carrying the ball in for a 22 yard rushing touchdown, which was capped off with another extra point by Nick Hahula bringing the score to 10 apiece. After swapping a few turnover by downs, ECSU scored on their next drive capped with a 65 yard touchdown pass with 7:04 left in the third quarter with a good extra point taking the lead once again with a score of 17-10. The Hawks answered right back with a 66 yard pass from Simpson to JR Williams setting up an 11-yard rushing touchdown by DaSean Martin, which was also capped with another Hahula extra point tying the game up yet again, now 17-17. The third quarter ended in a tie at 17 all.

In less than 3 minutes into the fourth quarter, ECSU put more points up on the board with a 1 yard TD rush and with a good extra point took the lead 24-17. With a deep kick off to the 1 yard line and 38 yard return by JR Williams for the Hawks, Chowan scrambled 61 yards down the field in 14 plays setting up a Chowan 7 yard passing touchdown from Simpson to Damian Ellis which with an extra point conversion by Hahula brought the game to a tie at 24-24.

Chowan took the ball over with 5:19 left in the fourth quarter and with 1:10 possession covered 70 yards in 4 plays led by a 49 yard completion from Simpson to Ryan Nolan setting up a 23 yard passing touchdown from Simpson to Anthony Clanton. With Hahula’s extra point, Chowan took the lead for the first time 31-24 with 3:59 left in the game. With just 1:55 left in the game ECSU scored the final touchdown of the game in regulation with a 15 yard pass and successful extra point. This was the last score in regulation leaving the game tied at 31-31 forcing an overtime.

At the start of overtime, ECSU took the first possession on the Chowan 25 yard line and scored their final touchdown in 6 plays. However, the extra point by Brett Symonds failed leaving an opening for Chowan with the score 37-31.

Chowan took possession on the Viking 25-yard line and facing a 4th down and goal do-or-die situation on the 23-yard line, was able to find an open receiver in the endzone. Ryan Simpson fired the ball to Antjuan Randall who appeared to have caught the ball in the endzone despite coverage by ECSU defender Lavonte Baker. However, on a very controversial call by the officials, the pass was ruled an interception on the ECSU 1-yard line thereby ending the game 37-31 in favor of the ECSU Trojans.

ECSU was dominant with 187 net yards rushing compared to Chowan’s 94 yards and 430 passing yards compared to Chowan’s 318 yards. DaSean Martin led the Chowan rushing with 43 yards followed by Ryan Simpson with 36 yards, Anthony Clanton at 30 yards and JR Williams at 7 yards. Robert Holland led the receiving offense with 10 catches and 122 yards followed by JR Williams with 3 for 75 yards, Ryan Nolan 1 for 49 yards and Anthony Clanton 1 for 23 yards and 1 touchdown. Ryan Simpson was 19 for 35 with 1 interception and 318 yards total.

The Chowan Hawks will host Virginia State University for the “Hall of Fame” game this coming Saturday, Nov. 3, with kickoff at 1 p.m. at Garrison Stadium on the Chowan Campus.