Virginia Union took down Virginia State 33-21 on Saturday. The Panthers (7-1 CIAA, 9-1) never trailed in this game, and was able to withstand a push by the Trojans (5-3, 6-4) late in the first half that put them within 23-21 to end the half.
Most of the scoring in this game occurred in the second quarter. With VUU entering the quarter leading 7-0 off a short Jahkari Grant rushing touchdown, John Jiles padded that score with an 18 yard touchdown reception from Grant. VSU was able to respond with a short Upton Bailey touchdown rush to finish a 71 -yard drive. While VSU’s defense was able to slow down VUU in the redzone, the Panthers were able to extend their lead with a 23-yard Brady Myers field goal. VSU was able to respond with another touchdown, this time by Darius Hagans. Jada Byers was able to break a six quarter scoring drought by powering into the end zone to extend VUU’s lead. VSU responded with covering 65 yards in 27 seconds, with Jordan Davis rushing for VSU’s third touchdown as the first half ended.
Virginia Union’s defense shut out their rivals in the second half. VSU’s first offensive drive of the second half resulted in Ephram Moore intercepting Jordan Davis, and Grant connected with Jiles for a 49-yard TD pass. VSU’s next drive was promising, but Xzavier Hines intercepted Davis in the redzone. VSU’s next offensive drive also ended with William Davis intercepting the ball. That drive resulted in a second Myers’ field goal, and those points were the last points scored by either team.
Grant, the CIAA’s leader in passing efficiency, paced VUU with 277 yards passing and two touchdowns, both to Jiles. Jada Byers, the NCAA Division II leader in rushing yards, had 139 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Damontay Rhem had 16 tackles, and VUU paired three interceptions with two sacks. VSU’s Davis passed for 251 yards, and Hagans and Bailey were held to a combined 89 yards rushing. Zion Johnson had 11 tackles, and Kymon Pope had 1.5 tackles for loss.
VUU, currently ranked fifth in the NCAA Division II Super Region II rankings entering this Saturday, will be idle while it awaits its playoff fate. VSU’s season ends in remarkable turnaround in head coach Henry Frazier III’s first season in Ettrick.