Shorter’s big plays doom Chowan

Published 4:35 pm Sunday, September 17, 2023

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ROME, GA – Chowan held the top hand in offensive stats, but surrendered too many big plays as the Hawks fell 57-20 here Saturday afternoon at Shorter University in Gulf South Conference action.

The Hawks finished with more total yards (334-290) and held a 279-106 advantage in passing yards, but struggled to find paydirt on drives that reached the redzone. Chowan was 2-of-4 in that offensive category.

Meanwhile, Shorter feasted on Chowan mistakes, first on special teams when the Hawks surrendered an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown by Shorter’s Trey Thomas early in the second quarter. Then, on the last snap of the second period, Thomas turned in another big play when he returned an interception 76 yards for a TD that helped his team gain a 20-0 halftime lead.

Chowan appeared to gain some needed momentum early in the third quarter when Terry Mitchell scored on a one-yard run, but the PAT kick was blocked, which Thomas picked up and ran 98 yards for a two-point play.

Shorter then blew the game open with two touchdowns, one coming on a big play from Noah Holland who scampered 64 yards to paydirt for a commanding 36-6 lead.

Chowan answered with their best drive of the game, marching 75 yards in 11 plays capped by Rashad McKee’s 17-yard TD pass to Tyree Holloway as time expired in the third quarter. The conversion run failed, leaving Chowan with a 36-12 deficit.

Shorter used a Chowan turnover at the Hawks 10 yardline to set up a score early in the fourth quarter where Justin Durant had a nine-yard TD run. Shorter scored again a little over two minutes later when Jaiden Dollard galloped 59 yards to paydirt, increasing his team’s lead to 50-12.

Chowan answered quickly when Demetrius Moore hauled in an 81-yard touchdown pass from McKee on the first snap following the game’s ensuing kickoff.

Shorter’s Bryan Gilmore capped the scoring when he returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown with 4:36 left in the game.

Traevon Mitchell led Chowan’s defense with eight tackles and two tackles for loss.

Chowan (0-3 overall and 0-2 in conference play) returns home and takes a step out of league action to host nationally-ranked Benedict on Saturday, Sept. 23. Kick-off is slated for 1 p.m. at James G. Garrison Stadium.