FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - A 30-yard field goal with four seconds left in the contest left the Shaw University football team heartbroken as the Bears fell 24-21 on the road to Fayetteville State University in its Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division opener at Luther "Nick" Jeralds Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The loss dropped the Bears to 2-4 overall,1-3 in league action and a 0-1 start in the division while the Broncos improved to 2-4 on the season, 1-3 in the CIAA and 1-0 in the south.
Shaw finished the contest with 234 total offense that featured just 79 yards through the air and 155 on the ground while FSU totaled 319 yards, including 222 passing and 97 rushing.
Senior quarterback Darron Downing (Portsmouth, VA) completed 11-of-19 passes for 79 yards and one touchdown while senior wide receiver Trevante Long (Greenbelt, MD) registered four receptions for 37 yards and a score and junior running back Michael Sherman (Powder Springs, GA) rushed for 66 yards on 12 carries.
The Broncos scored the game's first touchdown when Richard Latimer found receiver Brandon Harvey in the endzone, FSU's extra-point would put the Broncos up 7-0 over Shaw with 6:39 left in the first quarter. To start the second, Shaw gathered two first downs, including a gain for junior running back Uriah Bethea (Upper Marlboro, MD) but he would fumble at midfield as a Bronco defender poked the ball loose and FSU recovered but was unable to capitalize.
FSU would reach the endzone again in the second quarter when Latimore connected with Brandon Person-Boyd for a 22-yard touchdown reception to extend their lead 14-0 over Shaw with 6:04 remaining in the first half. However, the Bears finally got on the scoreboard thanks to a 10 play, 75-yard drive led by Sherman who accounted for 38 rushing yards in that drive that resulted in a 12-yard rushing TD for junior running back Coleman Blackston (Baltimore, MD), followed by sophomore kicker Beni Kinsemi's extra point to cut the deficit to 14-7 heading into halftime.
The Broncos opened up the second half with an 11-yard rushing TD for Stevie Green that put FSU ahead 21-7 over the Bears as Shaw missed opportunities in the redzone in the third quarter that left them scoreless in that frame heading into the fourth quarter. Down but not out, the Bears pushed through as Downing connected with Long for a 21-yard TD reception with 13:16 on the clock to pull Shaw within seven.
Three possessions later, Downing took things into his own hands as he scored on a 13-yard carry, followed by Kinsemi's extra point to make things even at 21-all.
With the game tied at 21-21, FSU started the ball on their 19-yard line and eventually moved down to the Bears 23-yard line with the help of four miscues by Shaw that set ultimately set up the field goal kick for FSU's David Lamb who was 0-for-1 before kicking the game winner field goal from 30-yards out.
Sophomore Devon Hunt (Rockingham, NC) recorded a game-high 13 tackles (eight solo), one break up and a tackle for loss while sophomore Eric Walker (Miami, FL) added nine tackles (four solo) and senior Andrew Cash finished with eight tackles (five solo) and two tackle for losses.
Shaw concluded the game just 3-for-10 in third down conversions and was 0-for-4 in field goals compared the Broncos who connected 8-of-13 in third downs and 1-4 in field goals.
The Bears will return to action Saturday, Oct. 14 at Durham County Memorial Stadium versus Livingstone College 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.