Heavily favored Bowie State captured its third straight CIAA championship with a 17-7 win over Fayetteville State on Saturday.
Bowie State rode to the win based on 163 rushing yard from Calil Wilkins, voted as the game’s Most Valuable Player. Bowie State scored two touchdown passes from quarterback Ja’rome Johnson to Victor Olayinka and Quron Winder, with a field goal tacked on by Alen Omerhodzic.
Statistically, Fayetteville State had the edge, as they gained 298 yards of total offense, exceeding Bowie State’s total by 16 yards. FSU also had four more first downs than Bowie State.
Fayetteville State offensive production was not enough to overcome two costly turnovers and inability score in the red zone. Fayetteville State failed to convert a fake field goal on a fourth and goal from the Bowie State three-yard line on one drive and kicker Elton Andrew missed a field goal on a second red zone trip.
The Broncos used both quarterbacks, K’hari Lane and Avery McCall, in an attempt to spark offensive consistency, but struggled against Bowie State’s aggressive pass rush. In the end, a Lane touchdown pass to Braxton Knotts served as the Broncos’ only points of the game.
Bowie State now joins Virginia Union as the current CIAA members and fifth team in the conference’s history to have won three straight conference titles. The loss for Fayetteville State now means the Broncos have lost four straight conference championship games.
Moreover, the disappointing end for the Broncos came with scoring the least points in those four conference championships appearances. Bowie State, who was ranked second in this week’s Super Region II rankings, now awaits the final word on their seeding in the NCAA Division II playoffs.
The NCAA will release the final playoff seeding Sunday afternoon. At a minimum, the Bulldogs will host at least a first round playoff game. Fayetteville State’s season is complete.