DURHAM, N.C. - Junior running back Uriah Bethea (Upper Marlboro, MD) scored the winning touchdown with just over one minute to left in the contest to help lift the Shaw University football team to a 23-17 victory over Elizabeth City State University Saturday afternoon at Durham County Memorial Stadium.
With the win, Shaw now stands 2-3 overall and earn its first win in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) conference to improve to 1-1 on the season. The Vikings fall to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the league.
For the contest, Shaw finished with 259 total yards of offense that featured 249 through the air and 10 on the ground while ECSU recorded 286 total yards (166 passing, 120 rushing).
Offensively, Bethea rushed for 95-yards on 12 carries and a game-high two touchdowns while senior quarterback Darron Downing, Jr. (Portsmouth, VA) threw for 93 yards (6-9-0) and one touchdown. Senior wide receiver Trevante Long (Greenbelt, MD) had five receptions for 46-yards.
The Bears scored the game's opening touchdown thanks to a 46-yard run from junior running back Uriah Bethea (Upper Marlboro, MD), followed by a good point after attempt from sophomore kicker Beni Kinsemi (Charlotte, NC) to give Shaw a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Vikings would respond in the second frame when Chase Byrum ran in the endzone off a one-yard rush. ECSU was responsible for 58-yards on four plays that possession to even the score at 7-7 with 10:42 on the game clock.
Shaw would reclaim the lead before intermission when Kinsemi kicked a field goal worth 26-yards to give the Bears a 10-7 advantage.
In the third quarter, ECSU's quarterback Daquan Neal found Darious White for a nine-yard reception touchdown that would put the Vikings back on top at 14-10 at the 10:15 mark. However, five minutes later, the Downing hooked up with senior tight end Will Davis (Parma, OH) for this first score as a Shaw Bear on a 11-yard pass in the endzone that would put the Bears ahead 17-10 heading into the fourth quarter.
ECSU knotted the game at 17-even on a 38-yard field goal from Joshua Laverty in the final stanza but the Bears set up the exciting finish on a nine play, 78-yard drive resulting in an eight-yard rushing strike for Bethea with 1:19 remaining. Despite a no good extra point by the Bears, Shaw's defense came up big on the Vikings final drive as both sophomore defensive lineman Braxton King (Durham, NC) and junior defensive lineman Keith Alston (Eggharbor City, NJ) earned a sack for 11 yards, followed by three incomplete passes from ECSU that would seal the victory for Shaw.
Senior linebacker Andrew Cash (Semora, NC) led the Bears defense with eight total tackles (3 solo), sophomore linebacker Devon Hunt (Rockingham, NC) and freshman defensive back Jaleel Scroggins (Raleigh, NC) finished with seven tackles and one sack apiece.
Shaw will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Fayetteville State University for a CIAA Southern Division matchup. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw football and its 13 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.