Virginia State University defensive back Kymon Pope and his teammates didn’t appreciate being Bowie State’s homecoming opponent — and they made that pretty clear to HBCU Gameday.
“You scheduled us for homecoming?” Pope jeered at our cameras? “Walk in yo trap, and take over your trap.”
VSU indeed walked into Bulldog Stadium and Prince George’s County, MD and took over on the field with a dominant performance. The visitors from Ettrick, VA beat the hometown squad 44-16 in front of more than 4,300 fans.
It was a measure of payback for Virginia State after Bowie State came to its homecoming 364 days earlier and laid a 41-14 smackdown.
“Last year they came to our homecoming and put a whooping on us. I think we was able to return the favor,” VSU head coach Dr. Henry Frazier III said after the game. “And also, what this does is secure back-to-back winning seasons. We’re still in the driver’s seat; we can control our own destiny.”
It was also a homecoming for Frazier, who played quarterback at Bowie State in the 1980s and coached the program in the early 2000s. It was his first game in that stadium on the visiting sideline.
“It’s an eerie feeling — I told them I’ve never even been on that sideline. I’m an offensive coach, I’m always on that sideline. But you know what — it wasn’t about me. I’m not going to become emotional. I tell them all the time — play with emotion — but don’t play emotional.”
Next up for VSU is its actual homecoming when it will face CIAA newcomer Bluefield State.
“Bluefield State is on the clock. That’s our homecoming,” Frazier said after the game. “Last year we were horrible, I was a horrible coach. So we want to give our fans and alumni something to be proud of. So Bluefield State — you’re on the clock.”
For what it’s worth — the two teams have played each other for the home team’s homecoming game eight out of the last ten years. The only times it didn’t happen was in 2020 — when COVID-19 shut down all HBCU homecomings — and 2021 when Bowie State hosted Chowan. Over the years, this game has given us some memorable contests, including a 2017 game that featured CIAA Hall of Fame performances by Trenton Cannon and Amir Hall, as well as highly-anticipated games that turned into blowouts like the past two seasons.
So there’s a good chance that Bowie State will be feeling ‘disrespected’ by being Virginia State’s homecoming opponent next October.