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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saint Anselm Hawks Rally to Capture 23-22 Victory Over Bowie State Bulldogs



BOWIE, MBOWIE, Md.  Quarterback Matthew Goggans (Pine Grove, Calif.) and wide receiver Nyme Manns (Baltimore, Md.) combined for 312 total yards while linebacker Paxton Queen (Upper Marlboro, Md.) garnered a game-high nine tackles in the Bulldogs’ 23-22 season opening home loss to Saint Anselm College on Saturday afternoon.

The Bulldogs produced 370 yards of total offense and received brilliant debuts from Goggans and Manns. Goggans went 15-for-31 for 181 yards and three touchdowns, and Manns caught six passes for 125 yards. Graduate student Kendall Jefferson (Temple Hills, Md.) added a team-high 57 yards rushing on 11 carries.

“At the end of the day, we have to play better defense … we gave up almost 400 yards in total offense (395) and offensively we must do better on third down”, said sixth year Bulldogs head coach Damon Wilson.

Bowie State (0-1) scored the first points of the new season for the Bulldogs via a 32-yard field goal by senior kicker Mario Diaz-Aviles (Washington, D.C.) and a 3-0 home lead, capping off a 12-play, 80 yard drive that ate up 6:24 of the first quarter. Manns recorded his first touchdown of the season at the 58 second mark of the opening period, catching a Goggans pass and scampered down the Saint Anselm sideline for a 73 yard score that gave the Bulldogs a 9-0 advantage. Unfortunately, the Diaz-Aviles extra point was missed.

Saint Anselm’s quarterback Yianni Gavales (Manhasset, N.Y.) connected with Zach Bartak (Greenfield, Mass.) on an 8-yard pass, catch and touchdown. Shane Grayson (Ormond Beach, Fla.) converted the extra point to trim the Bowie State lead down to 9-7 with 3:07 left in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs answered with just four seconds remaining in the first half, when wide receiver Garry Cropper (Odenton, MD.) caught a Goggans pass from eight yards out. Diaz-Aviles added the extra point that sent Bowie State into halftime leading the Hawks 16-7.

The Bowie State duo of Goggans and Manns teamed up again for six points at the 3:56 mark of the third quarter, this time from 14 yards away, but the Diaz-Aviles missed his second extra point of the contest that proved to be critical, but the Bulldogs held a 22-7 advantage.

Saint Anselm (1-0) responded with a 8-play, 77 yard drive that ended with Elad Covaliu (Rockville, Md.) three yard rushing touchdown with 1:37 left in the third quarter. The Grayson extra point was blocked but the Hawks still trailed 22-13

Bowie State managed just 22 yards on eight plays on its next drive. Faced with a fourth and nine, the Hawks defense forced Bulldogs punter Christopher Palmer (St. Mary’s, Md.) to put and he came through in a big way. Palmer’s 42-yard punt was downed at the Saint Anselm one yard line.

On second and nine from the Hawks’ 15 yard line, Saint Anselm’s Gavales picked up some huge real estate, rumbling 48 yards to the Bulldogs 37 yard line. Joe Hayman (Brandywine, Md.) pushed the visitors 24 yards closer to the Bowie State end zone. Hayman was held to no yards on his next carry and Gavales lost six yards on mishandles snap back to the BSU 19 yard line. However, Gavales completed a 19 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ahkeen Williams (DeWitt, N.Y.). Grayson drilled the extra point to trim the Bowie State lead down to 22-20 with 9:09 left in the game, capping off an 8-play, 99 yard drive.

The Bulldogs went three and out on their next possession and the Hawks capitalized. Following a Palmer punt, Saint Anselm’s Justin Bernard (Cambridge, Mass.) returned the punt 32 yards to the Hawks’ 47 yard line before being pushed out of bounds.

Saint Anselm put together an 11-play, 34 yard drive on it next possession before Grayson booted the eventual game-winning 38 yard field goal 3:26 on the Bulldogs Stadium scoreboard.

Gavales paced the Hawks with 263 passing yards, completing 20-of-38 passes and two touchdowns. Bartak and Nick Marcella (North Bridgton, Maine) were Saint Anselm’s leaders in reception yards with 80 and 71 respectively. Elijah Thomas (Gaithersburg, Md.) and Carroll Bailey (Clinton, Mass.) recorded seven tackles each in the win.

Bowie State redshirt freshman Britton Savoy (Fort Washington, Md.) notched seven tackles while junior Curtis Pumphrey (Laurel, Md.) and redshirt sophomore Bryan Blue (Accokeek, Md.) tacked on six tackles each in the setback.

The Bulldogs make a short trip over to Baltimore next Saturday (September 13th) to take on the Division I Morgan State University Bears. Kickoff is set for 1 pm in MSU’s Hughes Stadium.

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