Braves win by a ‘Hair’

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 8, 2003

ASHLAND, Va. – The streak has ended!

Freshman wide receiver Xavier Hair caught a 58-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Taylor Furlough with 2:21 left in the game and Angel Bonilla tacked on the all-important PAT as Chowan College presented Steve Gill his first win as a collegiate head coach with a thrilling, come-from-behind 21-20 victory over Randolph-Macon College here Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

For the Braves, who were coming off an 0-10 campaign last year, it marked their first win since a 48-0 victory over Averett University during the final game of the 2001 season.

Chowan, trailing 20-14, got the ball back at their own 42 yardline following a nine-yard punt by Randolph Macon’s Matt Taylor with 2:31 left. Ten seconds later, Hair crossed the goal line with the game-winning touchdown.

Hair, who had earlier grabbed a 41-yard scoring pass from Furlough, finished with a game-high 158 receiving yards. His pair of touchdown receptions tied a school single-game record shared by Silas George (1993 vs. Ferrum), George Dunlow (1997 vs. Newport News Apprentice) and Danny Inscoe (1998 vs. Methodist).

The Braves got off to a good start, scoring on their first two possessions. With the game less than two minutes old, sophomore running back James Moss capped a three-play, 67-yard drive with his 18-yard scamper to paydirt. The drive was highlighted by a 44-yard pass from Furlough to Hair.

Sparked by a 55-yard scamper by senior E.J. Bush, the home-standing Yellow Jackets tied the game at 7-7 as Bush finished what he started with a three-yard TD run. Bush was the game’s leading rusher with 155 yards on 32 carries.

Chowan answered back as Furlough and Hair hooked up on a 41-yard touchdown at the 8:31 mark of the first quarter. Furlough finished 9-for-18 with no interceptions for 176 yards.

Randolph-Macon then began to take control as the Yellow Jackets scored twice in the second period. Junior kicker David Ping converted on a 36-yard field goal attempt with less than three minutes gone in the period to rally the home team to within 14-10. During the Yellow Jackets’ last drive of the second quarter, junior quarterback Mike Jenkins completed three straight passes totaling 30 yards to set-up his one-yard scoring plunge with just 14 seconds remaining until halftime to stake his club to a 17-14 lead at intermission.

The Yellow Jackets opened the second half by using 6:33 off the clock in their first drive, one resulting in Ping’s 32-yard field goal that extended Randolph Macon’s lead to 20-14.

Defensively, the Braves were led by junior linebacker Matt Cunningham with 16 tackles. Senior cornerback Richard Baker had nine stops while senior defensive lineman Mike Lastra added eight tackles.

Chowan will host USA South Conference foe Greensboro College at 1 p.m. this Saturday (Sept. 13) in their home opener. That game marks the first of three straight home games for the Braves in September as Chowan follows with outings against longtime rivals Ferrum College (Sept. 20) and Newport News Apprentice School (Sept. 27).