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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Last Second Field Goal Lifts Livingstone Past Bowie State 36-33

SALISBURY, N.C. – The Blue Bears and Bulldogs put on quite a show on Saturday afternoon, but it was a last second Leonardo Manzo 25-yard field goal as time expired that lifted Livingstone to a 36-33 victory over Bowie State.
Livingstone (4-0, 1-0 CIAA) quarterback Drew Powell connected on a 9-yard pass to Arthur Bowden for the first points of the at the 12:44mark of the opening quarter. Leonardo Manzo added the extra point for the early 7-0 Blue Bears lead.

Bowie State (0-4, 0-1 CIAA) answered with a 6-play, 56 yard drive, capped off by a five yard touchdown run by senior Keith Brown (Temple Hills, Md.) with 7:17 left in the first half. Senior Mario Diaz-Aviles (Washington, D.C.) converted the extra point to tie the game at 7-all.

The Blue Bears added six more points with 49 seconds left in the first quarter following a 49 yard punt return by Jalen Hendricks to shift the advantage to Livingstone 13-7 after the missed PAT by Manzo.

BSU’s Brown scored his second touchdown of the afternoon early in the second quarter, pounding in from three yards out and Diaz-Aviles added the extra point to shift the advantage back over to the Bulldogs a 14-13 lead. The Bulldogs pushed their lead to 21-13 with 1:40 left in the first half when senior Trevon Bennett (Upper Marlboro, Md.) connected with Kerrick Pollock (Miami, Fla.) for nine yard touchdown.

A scrambling Powell found a wide open Brandon Bennett in the corner of the Bulldogs end zone for a 41-yard touchdown. However, with no time on the clock, the Livingstone two-point conversion was unsuccessful, sending Bowie State into halftime with a slim 21-19 lead.

Just like the first Blue Bears score of the game, the duo of Powell and Bowden teamed up for six on a 10 yard pass and catch at the 10:37mark of the third quarter for a 26-21 Livingstone lead.

Following back-to-back interceptions by the Blue Bears and Bulldogs, Bowie State’s Diaz-Aviles booted a 25-yard field goal to pull the visitors within two at 26-24 with 6:38 on the clock.

Another Livingstone turnover gave the ball back to Bowie State with just over three minutes left in the third quarter and the Bulldogs capitalized and regained the lead early in the fourth quarter following another Daiz-Aviles field goal, this time from 21 yards.

The Bulldogs lead grew to 33-26 at the 12:16 mark of the final period via an 8-yard touchdown run by redshirt junior Kendall Jefferson (Temple Hills, Md.). Unfortunately, the Bulldogs extra point failed. The score was setup following a huge 60 yard punt return by junior Curtis Pumphrey (Laurel, Md.)

Livingstone put together a nice 10-play, 70 yard drive on their next possession, as Powell threw his fourth touchdown pass of the afternoon, this time a six yarder to Hendricks. The Manzo point after was good and the score was tied at 33.

After a Bowie State three and out, Livingstone threatened down to the Bulldogs one yard line before a Powell fumble was recovered by Bowie State in the end zone for a touchback. The Bulldogs took over with 3:03 remaining in the game but three straight incomplete passes by Bennett, left Bowie State redshirt sophomore Christopher Palmer (St. Mary’s, Md.) to punt.

Livingstone took over with the Alumni Stadium clock showing 2:09 and drove down the field with help from a controversial personal foul call on BSU’s Pumphrey that gave the Blue Bears a first and ten at the Bulldogs 34 yard line. Five plays later, the Blue Bears were setup down to the Bulldogs eight yard line, setting on the game winner by Manzo.

“We made mistakes at critical times in the game and missed several opportunities”, said a rather subdued Bowie State head coach Damon Wilson.

BSU’s Bennett finished the day by completing 20 of 39 passes for 208 yards and one touchdown, but was intercepted three times and sacked three times. Jefferson and Brown were the Bulldogs’ top rushers with 67 and 65 yards respectively. Senior Khari Lee (Baltimore, Md.) led Bowie State in reception yards for the second straight game with 60 yards on five catches. Junior Antony McDaniel (Fort Washington, Md.) and graduate student Christopher Townsend (Washington, D.C.) tallied double-digit tackles with 12 and 10 respectively.

Livingstone was led on offense by Powell’s 329 passing yards to go along with 94 rushing yards. Justin Forte recorded a game-high 99 rushing yards and Hendricks paced all receivers with 114 yards. Marcus Fairly led the Bears defense with 10 tackles while Kenneth White added nine. 

The Bulldogs return home for the first time in three weeks to host the Golden Bulls of Johnson C. Smith at 4 pm next Saturday (10/4). This game has been designated as Cancer Awareness Day.

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