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Fayetteville State Claims CIAA Football Championship with 31-28 Win over Chowan
SALEM, VA (November 12, 2022) – With a game-winning 43-yard field goal as time expired, Elton Andrew delivered Fayetteville State a 31-28 win over Chowan University to claim the 2022 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Football Championship in Salem, VA at Salem Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Broncos’ defense made timely play after timely play and the offense’s diet of chunk plays improved Fayetteville State to 9-2 overall and gave the Broncos their fourth conference title and first since 2009. FSU had appeared in the four previous conference title games (2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021) but suffered defeats each time. Chowan, which finished with a 7-4 overall record, was making its first conference championship appearance since joining the CIAA in 2009.
Andrew’s game-winner was set up by a Chowan kick-catch interference on a punt that had Fayetteville State start its final drive at the Hawks’ 46-yard line. The Broncos advanced 21 yards to Chowan’s 26. The drive featured an epic conversion, Elijah Henry gaining five yards on a screen on 4th-and-4 at Chowan’s 41-yard line and a Demari Daniels completion to Cameron Harrington for 14 yards moved FSU into field goal range.
With 7:35 remaining in the game, Chowan held a 28-21 lead after a Nijere Peoples’ touchdown, the culmination of a seven-play, 69-yard drive that followed an interception by the Hawks’ Kmare Carey. Daniels, the Food Lion Game Most Valuable Player, immediately led a touchdown drive to tie the game at 28. The quarterback completed passes of 17 yards to Tre’ Goode and 27 yards to Barry Elliott before Caden Davis punched in a one-yard touchdown.
Chowan took its first lead late in the second quarter, going up 21-14 with a 14-play, 89-yard drive that lasted eight minutes and featured a Peoples’ two-yard rushing touchdown. Going for an early first-half dagger, Chowan’s Head Coach Mark Hall called for an onside kick and the Hawks’ Kyle Lotz recovered the ball. However, the Broncos’ defense rose to the occasion, as they have all season, by forcing a three-and-out. Chowan would take that 21-14 lead into halftime.
The Broncos had several crucial stops, after surrendering three straight touchdown drives to Chowan, they forced five punts, earned a takeaway, and allowed just one touchdown. With 1:01 remaining in the second quarter and the Hawks on the Broncos’ 24-yard line, FSU’s Brandon Barnes-Brown earned an interception on a Rashad McKee pass, essentially taking points off the boards from Chowan. Another pivotal stop came in the third quarter, with Chowan driving and at the Broncos’ 18-yard line, FSU recorded three consecutive tackles for losses and forced a punt on 4th-and-32.
The Broncos tied the game at 21 before the end of the third period, thanks to back-to-back big plays by their offense. Elijah Henry ripped off a 20-yard run and Daniels connected with Braxton Knotts for a 54-yard touchdown.
In the first quarter, FSU took advantage of opportunities provided by its defense and special teams to score. A failed Chowan flea-flicker on its first drive resulted in a Broncos recovery and Elijah Henry made the Hawks pay with a 15-yard touchdown rush on the very next play. Brian McIntyre had a 71-yard kickoff return and on the first play from scrimmage, Daniels found Elliott from 19 yards out for a touchdown.
Neither team led by more than a touchdown, however, as the Hawks answered each of the Broncos’ first-half touchdowns with scores of their own. In the first quarter, McKee, the Food Lion Runner-up Game MVP, completed two passes of 22 yards and 23 yards to Demetrius Moore to set up an 11-yard touchdown run from Peoples. On another touchdown drive, McKee rushed for a five-yard score to tie the game at 14. The Hawks found themselves in the redzone after a 43-yard completion to Malik Tobias.
McKee finished 23-of-31 passing for 266 yards and he rushed for 36 yards and a touchdown. Moore had 98 yards receiving on six receptions and Tobias had 98 yards on five catches. Peoples had three rushing touchdowns, along with 65 yards.
Daniels completed 12-of-24 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns while finishing as the team’s leading rusher with 43 yards. Knotts had three catches for 87 yards and the score and Elliott finished with four receptions for 81 yards and a score.
Burnico Perofeta led Chowan with six total tackles and FSU was led by Gerald Simpson’s 11 total tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss.
The Broncos earned the win despite the Hawks outgaining FSU 28-15 in first downs and 424-286 in yards. Field position is more than just yards of offense though. The Broncos’ punter Jacob Young averaged 45 yards on each of his four punts and Chowan averaged 30 yards on their six punts. FSU also gained 101 yards on four kickoffs and the Hawks totaled just 18 kickoff return yards and had a kickoff sail out of bounds.
About the CIAA
Founded in 1912, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is the first and longest running, African American athletic conference in the U.S. and one of the most recognized conferences in Division II. The CIAA conducts 14 championships attended by more than 150,000 fans from around the country. In 2020, the conference celebrated the special 75th anniversary of its Championship Basketball Tournament – an event that has become a must-see in the African American community. The Basketball Tournament has been honored as a Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism by Sports Destination Management, the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market, for both 2018 and 2019. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the CIAA is governed by the Presidents and Chancellors of its 12 member-institutions: Bowie State University, Claflin University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Livingstone College, Saint Augustine’s University, Shaw University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, and Winston-Salem State University. Chowan University is an associate member in football. For more information on the CIAA, visit theciaa.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
Ja’Shawn Steward-Johnson | Assistant Director for Strategic Communications
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
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