Hawks manhandle JC Smith

Published 9:46 am Tuesday, October 4, 2016

MURFREESBORO – A pair of key defensive stops in the latter stages of the second quarter would provide the fuel that Chowan’s offense feasted on in the second half as the Hawks turned a narrow 14-0 halftime lead into a 47-14 rout of Johnson C. Smith University here Saturday night.

The win was the third straight for the Hawks, now 4-1 overall, as they have opened CIAA action at 2-0.

Sitting on a 14-0 lead in the second quarter, Chowan’s offense was mounting a drive that ended with a Herman Dupas fumble near midfield. The visiting Golden Bulls (1-4; 1-1) appeared to seize the momentum, using nine plays to march to the Hawks 20. On first down, Chowan linebacker Demetrius Newbery chased down Smith quarterback Harold Herbin and dumped him for a 14-yard loss. Two incomplete passes followed, forcing the visitors to punt.

Johnson C. Smith’s Tromecio Summers (right) is wrapped up by Chowan defenders Kamaree Alcorn (left) and Chris Rodgers after a short gain. The Hawks defense kept the Golden Bulls offense in check, limiting their guests to 251 total yards.

Johnson C. Smith’s Tromecio Summers (right) is wrapped up by Chowan defenders Kamaree Alcorn (left) and Chris Rodgers after a short gain. The Hawks defense kept the Golden Bulls offense in check, limiting their guests to 251 total yards.

However, another turnover on Chowan’s next possession (an interception thrown by quarterback Randall Dixon) set up Johnson C. Smith at midfield. Four snaps later, Newberry again came up big on defense for the Hawks as it was his hit on Bulls runner Gabriel Yuille that forced a fumble. Newberry then tracked down the loose football, recovering it at his own 4 yardline, preserving Chowan’s two-touchdown lead at halftime.

“I thought for the most part we played solid on defense,” said Chowan head coach Tim Place following the contest. “We faced a quality team; (JC Smith) coach (Kermit) Blount does a nice job and we had a lot of respect for his team. They do a lot with formations and run multiple plays from those formations, so it was critical for us defensively to recognize that and stick to how we prepared for that type of offensive variety.

“I feel good about what we did defensively; anytime you give up 21 points or less in college football you have to feel you’ve done a good job,” Place added.

The second half was all Chowan as the Hawks scored on each of its three, third quarter possessions to take a commanding 33-0 lead.

What was even more pleasing to the Chowan coaching staff was that the Hawks scored in a variety of ways to open the second half.

The first score was a grinding 11 play, 91-yard drive highlighted by Dixon who was a perfect 6-of-6 passing on that march, including a 29-yard touchdown strike across the middle to a streaking Torry Baker.

Chowan’s defense set-up the next score when Calvin Calhoun tackled Smith’s Desean Binyard for a two-yard loss, forced a fumble and recovered it, handing the Hawks the ball at the Golden Bulls 29 yardline. Four plays later, Tyree Lee scored from 20 yards out.

Lee had a big night for the Hawks, rushing for a game and season-high 191 yards on 24 carries. As a team, Chowan rushed for a season-high 269 yards on 43 attempts.

Chowan’s last touchdown of the third quarter came lightning fast as, after taking possession at their own 32 yardline following a punt, Dixon heaved a 68-yard scoring pass to Tyrone Carter.

For the game, Lee was 26-of-34 for 381 yards and five TD’s. Carter hauled in three passes for 147 yards; Ryan Nolan had 11 grabs for 77 yards; and Kaine Lombard caught four for 54 yards.

The Hawks padded their lead in the fourth quarter where Lee notched his second rushing TD of the game (a 1-yard run) to cap a quick four-play, 65-yard drive that took less than one minute (highlighted by Lee’s 52-yard scamper), and Dixon tossed a one-yard scoring pass to Reginald Williams who ran over a Golden Bulls defender at the goal line to cap a 74-yard, seven-play drive.

Chowan built its 14-0 halftime lead by scoring a touchdown in each the first and second quarters.

The first was a monster 16-play, 89-yard march that consumed over six minutes of the opening period, capped by a one-yard scoring pass from Dixon to Williams.

Set-up by an Antwuan Hicks interception, Dixon tossed his second scoring pass of the night early in the second period, a 26-yard strike to Lombard who laid out in the endzone to make the grab.

The Hawks rolled up a season-high 650 offensive yards in the win while holding the Golden Bulls to 251 offensive yards over the course of the contest.

“Offensively we did a heck of a job,” Place noted. “The staff did a great job in preparation, especially with our running game….I haven’t seen those totals (stats) yet but I feel this was our best rushing effort of the season. When a team is able to run the ball effectively, you become tough to defend as it opens up our passing game.”

Defensively, Newberry paced the Hawks with eight tackles (five solo, three assisted) and two sacks. Hicks added seven tackles (three solo, four assisted).

The Hawks will be back at Garrison Stadium this Saturday (Oct. 8) where they’ll host Bowie State University (3-2; 2-0) during Chowan’s Homecoming game. Kick-off for this CIAA Northern Division opener for both clubs is set for 3 p.m.

“We’re where we want to be right now, in a position to compete in our conference, but this team still has many miles to walk before we can be satisfied,” Place said as his team now sets its sights on a Bowie State club that has beaten the Hawks two straight seasons. “Bowie State is very good. We need to have a great week of practice and get focused if we want to put ourselves in a position to be successful.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal