Strong finish

Published 9:38 am Tuesday, November 7, 2017

LINCOLN, PA – What a way to end it.

Chowan University’s football team put a cap on their 2017 season and left a lot of hope on the table for 2018 Saturday night with a totally dominating 73-30 win here over Lincoln University, PA in the final game of the 2017 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) season.

Chowan finishes the season with a 4-6 overall record and 4-3 in CIAA play. Lincoln was winless on the season: 0-10, and 0-7 in league play.

Tyrell Freeman posted a school record 308 yards rushing on 22 carries to lift the Hawks to victory including three rushing touchdowns in the win.

Chowan University’s Tyrell Freeman (w/ball) eludes tacklers in an earlier game. Freeman had a school record 308 yards rushing to go with three touchdowns as the Hawks smacked Lincoln 73-30 in their final regular-season game Saturday. | Next Level Photos / Charles Revelle

The Hawks rushed for 351 yards notching the second most rushing yards in program history in a single game, 14 yards shy of eclipsing the 365 yard mark set against Livingstone in 2012.

Bryce Witt had an easy night behind center tossing the ball around only 16 times for 128 yards and three touchdowns on 11 completions.  He also tallied a rushing touchdown.

Herman Dupas Jr., Drew Buck, and Brandon Whitehead hauled in touchdown passes from Witt while Buck also had a rushing touchdown.

Dakota Baer led the Hawks defensively with 10 tackles.  Ahmond Gomez picked off the Lions’ quarterback twice for 84 yards. Marquise Baldwin had a defensive touchdown, while Bryan Bryant recorded his second punt return for a touchdown in the victory.

Chowan won the toss and elected to defer to the second half.  The Lions received the opening kickoff and the Hawks’ special teams pinned the Lions inside their own five with a tackle by Ely Kreutz at the three yard-line.

On the Lions’ second play from scrimmage, George Parker stripped the ball from the Lincoln receiver. Baldwin picked up the fumble and used the 12-yard scoop to score the game’s first touchdown just 57 seconds into the contest.

Chowan’s first offensive drive of the game ended in points for Chowan, first with a big play from Buck on the receiving end of a 35-yard completion down to the Lions’ four-yard line.  Witt would eventually find a wide open Brandon Whitehead for the score to extend the lead to 14-0 with 9:50 remaining in the quarter.

The Chowan defense stepped up once again as Bruce Boone recovered a Lincoln fumble near midfield.  Freeman then had a punishing run on the drive breaking tackles to put the Hawks inside the red zone.  Buck finished off the drive with a one-yard dive for the 21-0 lead.

Pinned deep in their own territory on their next possession, Cornell Duncan blocked a Lions’ punt which was scooped up by Bryan Bryant scoring from 12-yards out and at 28-0, the carnage for Lincoln continued.

The Lions would finally get on the board in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 28-7.

On their opening drive of the quarter, Freeman produced another punishing run for 55-yds to give Chowan another red zone chance which Witt capped off with a quarterback keeper from nine-yards out making it 35-7, Hawks.

With their next possession the Hawks had to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Connor Killeen to lead 38-7 with 3:17 remaining in the half.

Lincoln would score in five plays and go for two to make it 38-15 with 1:18 left.  The Lions then forced a Chowan fumble on the ensuing kickoff and were able to cut the deficit to 38-22 with seven seconds remaining in the half.  Lincoln caught the Hawks off guard after the drive and recovered an on-side kick.  However, the Lions would be intercepted by Gomez to end the half on a Hail Mary attempt.

A personal foul call gave the Hawks the ball at their own 40-yd line to start the half.  With fresh legs, Freeman took the first play 60 yards for the score to give the Hawks a 45-22 lead.

As the Lions were marching down the field, Gomez got in on another turnover: forcing a fumble recovered by Randy Allen Jr. to give the Hawks’ offense the ball back near midfield. Freeman was on fire, carrying the ball three times on the drive for 26 yards before finishing the drive with a one-yard plunge for his second score of the evening that made it 52-22.

The second-half woes continued for the Lions as Gomez picked off his second pass of the evening before getting stopped short of a pick-six.  Witt found Buck in the back of the end zone for the short score to push the lead to 59-22.

Freeman then broke off his fourth run of 50+ yards to open the fourth quarter, and on the next play, Witt found Dupas for a six-yard touchdown connection.

Afterward, the Hawks slowed the pace and ran off some clock, but still capped a 76-yard drive in 13 plays and scored in seven minutes.  Freeman found the end zone on a two-yard run, capping his record night with his third score of the game.

Lincoln would tack on a late score on their final drive of the game for the 73-30 final.