Turnovers, sacks prove costly in Chowan loss

Published 9:37 am Monday, October 9, 2023

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MURFREESBORO – Three interceptions and six sacks served as Chowan’s downfall as the Hawks suffered a 31-16 Homecoming Day setback vs. North Greenville in Gulf South Conference action here Saturday.

Chowan’s Deven Franklin latches onto a six-yard TD pass in the third quarter of Saturday’s game in Murfreesboro. This touchdown rallied the Hawks to within 17-16, but they eventually suffered a 31-16 loss. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant

The loss dropped Chowan to 0-6 overall and 0-4 in league play.

Chowan rallied from a 17-3 halftime deficit and cut the North Greenville lead to 17-16 by scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter.

The first score came on an 11 play, 63-yard drive that was kept alive by fourth-and-seven play inside the 10 yardline. There, Rashad McKee rifled a pass across the middle to Deven Franklin, giving the Hawks a first-and-goal at the one yardline. McKee, on a quarterback keeper, scored on the next snap.

On the game’s ensuing series, Chowan safety Kmare Carey picked off a pass, returning it 44 yards to the North Greenville six yardline. The Hawks scored two plays later on a six-yard pass from McGee to Franklin who managed to hold on to the ball despite having his helmet turned sideways by a North Greenville defender. The PAT kick was blocked, leaving Chowan with a one-point deficit (17-16) with 52 seconds left in the third period.

However, that’s as close as it got for the Hawks as North Greenville’s defense came up with two interceptions and four of its six sacks over the final 15 minutes. Meanwhile, their offense put together two scoring drives that ended with touchdown runs by Dylan Ramirez (1 yard) and Corey Watkins (7 yards) to seal the win.

Chowan scored first, taking the game’s opening possession and driving 75 yards in 10 plays that ended with Jose Colunga’s 36-yard field goal.

After North Greenville answered with a drive that resulted in a 40-yard TD pass from Ramirez to Ahmari Coats, Chowan came right back with a drive of their own. This one got as deep as North Greenville’s 18 yardline, but a motion penalty and a sack forced a fourth down play that the Hawks failed to convert.

Another opportunity fell by the wayside midway the second quarter. There, trailing 10-3, Chowan’s D’Armani Ridley picked off a Ramirez pass at North Greenville’s 21 yardline. Six plays later, Romeo Felton scored what appeared to be a touchdown after his two yard run, but it was negated by a holding penalty against the Hawks. Colunga missed a 24-yard field goal as Chowan came up empty on that drive.

North Greenville then drove 80 yards in eight plays, capped by a three-yard TD run by Watkins that allowed the visitors to take a 17-3 halftime lead.

Felton led Chowan’s rushing attack with 73 yards on 12 carries. McKee passed for 124 yards. Tyree Holloway was Chowan’s top receiver, catching four passes for 55 yards.

Traevon Mitchell and Abdural Lee led the defense with seven tackles each. Evan McGhee tallied six tackles including a sack.

Chowan hits the road to take on West Georgia on Saturday, Oct. 14. Kick-off is slated for 6 pm in Carrollton, GA.