The football team at Bowie State University (BSU), Prince George’s historically Black institution, continues to defy the odds, much to the delight of their fans and alumni.
On Saturday, they advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs with a 31-10 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, North Carolina) on Bowie State’s home turf, Bulldogs Stadium.
The win extends the Bulldogs’ winning streak to 11 games. As a result, BSU will now host the team from Newberry College (Newberry, South Carolina) on Saturday, Nov. 27 at the Bulldogs Stadium. Kickoff time has yet to be determined.
Bowie State (11-1), ranked 10th in the country, took a 7-0 lead after the first quarter when senior Ja’rome Johnson (Washington, D.C.) scored from 65 yards. Lenoir-Rhyne countered with a 40-yard field goal in the second quarter to pull within four. But BSU took control, putting the game away when senior Tevin Singleton (District Heights, Md.) picked off a pass and raced 70 yards. Bowie State added a field goal and took a 17-3 lead to the locker room.
“It was extremely important that we got off to a fast start,” said Damien Wilson, BSU head coach. “We get a score on the opening drive and then the interception return helped as we settled in the rest of the way. I was very pleased with the way the team performed in this type of game.”
In the second half, Johnson broke away for another long run, this time on a 48-yard rushing scamper, pushing the lead to 24-3 with 3:01 left in the third quarter. Lenoir-Rhyne scored its only touchdown on a 39-yard reception for Jordan Payne to close the gap (23-10). But the Bulldogs’ final touchdown — a nine-play, 97-yard drive — solidified the win for Bowie State who held the Bears to a season-low 103 yards on the ground in addition to forcing four turnovers.
Johnson finished with 147 yards rushing on 12 carries and a pair of scores while he completed eight passes for 76 yards. Senior Calil Wilkins (Temple Hills, Md.) recorded 101 rushing yards on 23 carries and a touchdown.