Hawks blitz Battlers

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, September 17, 2013

MURFREESBORO – At times his scrambling resembled your well-known NFL read-option quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson.

But it was his arm, not his legs that carried the day.

Chowan junior quarterback Cameron Stover threw for 332 yards, including tying a school record with five of those tosses for touchdowns in a 60-39 Chowan victory here over Alderson-Broaddus in the Hawks’ home opener Saturday afternoon.

In the process, the Michigan native rewrote the Chowan record books after completing 26 of 37 passes.  CJ Westler had the previous record of 24 pass completions out of 48 against Shaw in 2008 until Stover “wrestled” it away. Stover also tied Westler’s record of five touchdown passes in a game set against Johnson C. Smith in 2008.   Additionally, the 60 points scored by the Hawks in the home opener was the most scored in 20 years (1993), when Chowan scored 51 points in Garrison Stadium against Gallaudet.

But this was hardly a one-man show.  Robert Holland seems to be rounding back into the form that made him All-CIAA two years ago before an injury cost him all of the 2012 season. Holland led all receivers with eight grabs for 129 yards.

Holland, Dexter Green and DeSean Martin each tallied two touchdowns in the win, with Charles Holmes scoring one of the eight grabs for six points as well.  Martin was also the workhorse in the running attack with 16 carries for 73 yards.

“I just knew I had to bounce back since last week (vs. UNC-Charlotte) wasn’t one of my better days,” said Stover after the game. “With my O-line and my receivers we did that today.”

“I felt like I always had this in my arsenal,” he added with a smile. “I just never used it and with those good blocks today I was able to show my ability.”

On special teams Chowan surrendered 190 yards in return yardage and kicker Alex Noboa – a CIAA All-Rookie team selection a season ago – was 4-for-6 on extra-point attempts, with two kicks blocked, and he missed his only field-goal try.  Back-up kicker, Matt Lucas missed one extra-point kick and had the other blocked.

The Hawks defense didn’t make the coaching staff happy either, surrendering 39 points and 510 yards of total offense to the Battlers; but they did have five interceptions including one pick-six that Cornell Duncan returned for a touchdown.

“A ‘W’ is a ‘W’,” said senior linebacker Jason Ampy afterward. “But we’ve got a lot to work on.”

Head coach Tim Place certainly couldn’t have agreed more.

“Coach (Mark) Hall and his staff did a fine job with the offense,” said Place, “but we’ve got to get better defensively and special teams-wise if we want to continue to go in the direction we want.”

Place continued, “We’ve got a lot of work to do, a lot of corrections to be made, and in no way should we be satisfied. But we won the game and that’s what’s important.”

If it was important for Chowan to establish themselves early the reviews were mixed. They were stopped near midfield on their first possession and pinned deep in their own territory on the second, both resulting in punts.

Alderson-Broaddus fared no better, and for the Battlers it got worse. A-B QB Wilson Vaughn was intercepted by Duncan who returned it 58 yards for the game’s first score and after the Noboa kick, a 7-0 Chowan lead.

From there, the Hawks’ offense awakened and Chowan scored the next two times it had the ball. DeSean Martin rushed for one score that made it 13-0 by the end of the first quarter, but the Battlers got a field goal early in the second to trail by ten, 13-3.

Stover got his first passing touchdown early in the second quarter and A-B scored one late to make it 20-10, Chowan at halftime.

Coming out in the second half, Alderson-Broaddus kicked the Hawks in their bills with a touchdown on the opening kickoff and suddenly it was a three-point game, 20-17.

But that was Chowan’s wake-up call. Stover drove the team 49 yards in four plays, capped by a JR Williams 8-yard run to daylight and a 27-17 score.  On their next possession, Stover hits Dexter Green for his second TD of the day and Chowan has doubled up the Battlers, 34-17.

Another possession, another Chowan touchdown: Stover to Green again for their second connection on the afternoon and it’s 41-17.

Alderson-Broaddus fought back as Vaughn directed a scoring drive that made it 41-24; but Stover found Holland for his first touchdown catch of the year and the two-point conversion made it a double again, 48-24, as the quarter ended.

The final frame of the afternoon began with Stover finding Holland a second time to make it a 30-point lead, 54-24.

For the Battlers, Vaught gave way to Wes Nesmith who directed two A-B scoring drives, but sandwiched in between Chowan transfer Dain McFarland threw his first touchdown strike for the Blue-&-White and the horn sounded with the Hawks claiming a 21-point win. The two teams fell one point shy of the century scoring mark.

Next up for Chowan (1-1) is a road trip to Fairfield, CT where FCS-power, Sacred Heart, awaits. The Pioneers trounced CIAA-member, Lincoln, last Saturday, 45-3.

“We’re on the road quite a bit with our schedule this year,” said Place. “But it is what it is and we just have to get on the bus, travel up there and play.

“There’s still a lot we need to get done,” he concluded.