Shaw derails Chowan

Published 10:48 am Tuesday, October 20, 2009

MURFREESBORO – Broken record.

That pretty much sums up Saturday night’s CIAA football game at Garrison Stadium between defending conference champ, Shaw, and the Chowan Hawks in what was the highest scoring game of the week in the league with the visiting Bears prevailing, 53-20.

On the plus side, Chowan had their third most productive night offensively this year as they racked up 414 total yards.

Included in that total was senior quarterback C.J. Westler breaking the school record for passing yardage in a season with a 361-yard night and bringing his total on the year to 2,307 with two games still to play.

Freshman wide receiver Robert Holland also did some record-book rewriting with 18 catches that set a new single game freshman record for receptions enroute to a 221-yard receiving night. In all, Holland broke three freshman records: receptions in a game, reception yards in a game, and receptions in a season (68).

On the defensive side, Chowan held the CIAA’s leading rusher, Raymond Williams, below 100 yards for the first time all season. Hawks freshman defensive back Tony Goodman had five tackles and forced a fumble while Shaw kicker Caleb Reid had his string of 33 straight PAT kicks broken with a trio of misses for the first time all year.

But the other broken record is the same old song: the Hawks put up great numbers, play evenly with their opponents for better than half the game, and still come up on the losing end because of miscues. Chowan surrendered three touchdowns courtesy of a fumble, an interception, and a blocked punt.

“You can’t make the mistakes we made against them,” said frustrated second-year coach Tim Place after the game. “They’re a very good team, but if we’re going to be successful against teams like that we just can’t beat ourselves.”

Shaw got on the board first on a Travis Robinson scoring strike to Julius Gregory at the six-minute mark in the first quarter for an early 7-0 lead.

Following that score Chowan drove to the Bears’ 20-yardline, but couldn’t punch it in for six and had to settle for a Cory Cline field goal to make it 7-3.

On Chowan’s first drive of the second quarter, the Hawks drove 74 yards highlighted by a spectacular 13-yard catch by Holland and a 17-yard run on the left side by sophomore J.J. Spates where he drug tacklers down to the five-yard line.

However a penalty and a pair of incompletions sandwiched between a sack moved them back to the 20 and they had to settle for another 37-yard Cline field goal to move within one at 7-6.

Momentum seemed to have swung the Hawks’ way on the chilly, windy night as Shaw fumbled on its next series and Ahoskie’s Leon Eason recovered at the Chowan 32-yardline. But the Hawks couldn’t capitalize on the good fortune as Westler fumbled on his own 47 and Quintez Smith returned it for a Bears’ touchdown and a 13-6 lead. Shaw scored once more to lead 20-6 at the break.

After Shaw scored to open the second half and make it 27-6, Chowan drove to the Bears’ 29-yardline in eight plays, but Cline’s 46-yard field goal attempt was wide right of the goal posts.

After Shaw took over, Eason came through again for the Hawks and collected his second turnover of the night with an interception at the Bears’ 41-yardline. Chowan then went nine plays capped off by a Westler touchdown strike to Kevin Hodrick and trimmed the lead to 27-13.

It was the same score opening the fourth quarter when Shaw blocked a punt deep in Chowan territory and it took just two plays for the Bears to find the end zone once more and stretch it out to 34-13.

Shaw then came right back with the ‘pick-six’ interception return for another score and the Bears had put up 13 points in just under four minutes to make it 40-13.

Despite the big lead, Bears coach Daryl Asberry continued to mostly play his starters and Shaw (6-2, 3-2,CIAA) scored twice more before Westler hooked up with Hodrick for the second time on the night with just a minute to play to make the final score, 53-20.

“I’d rather have a ‘W’,” said a disappointed Westler referring to his record-setting night, “but maybe one day it’ll be nice to look back on.”

“It’s all in the offense,” added Holland. “Give a lot of credit to our line and it shows through the stats how consistently hard we work all week but the final score didn’t go our way.”

“We were really pulling it together there for a few minutes to get within a couple of possessions,” said Cline, who was two-for-three in field goal attempts, “but it just kind of let go.”

Chowan (1-7, 1-4, CIAA) is right back at Garrison this Saturday night when they host Charlotte’s Johnson C. Smith for Homecoming-2009.

“I think we got a lot of wrinkles out tonight,” said sophomore linebacker Andrae DeWeese. “And for these last two games, with our home fans behind us, we’re going to show them that we really can play.”