Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 21, 2013

Concord drops heart breaker

Staff, wire reports
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BOWIE, Md. — The Concord University football team saw its comeback attempt come up just short Saturday as the Mountain Lions lost to Bowie State, 16-10, Saturday at Bulldog Stadium.

The loss, Concord's first of the season, drops the Mountain Lions' record to 2-1 overall on the year. As a team, Concord held advantages over Bowie State (2-1) in first downs (16-9), total yards (266-208) and passing yards (175-42).

The Mountain Lions were led by junior wide receiver Darrick Williams who caught a career-high eight passes for 67 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Tiko Henderson caught five passes for 49 yards.

Brian Novak went 22-for-47 for 175 yards. Novak also ran for 29 yards and a touchdown. Sam Wright ran for a team-best 33 yards on 14 attempts.

Concord’s defense was paced by Bluefield High School product Keith Ferguson, who made a career-best 10 tackles including one two tackles for loss. Gary Saylor added eight stops while Jake Lilly and Ervin Moore each chipped in seven stops.

Riyahd Richardson intercepted his second pass in as many games. Ferguson and Anthony Pyle both tallied sacks as well for Concord.

Special teams ace Russell Bailey blocked a crucial fourth quarter punt.

After trading possessions for much of the first quarter, Concord was able to strike first midway through the first quarter with a 24-yard field goal by Andy Ellington that capped off a 12-play, 39-yard drive which featured two successful fourth-down conversions for the Mountain Lions.

Bowie State answered back at the start of the second quarter with Keith Brown's 15-yard touchdown run that gave the Bulldogs a 7-3 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the opening half.

The Bulldogs picked up an interception on a tipped pass during CU's next drive with the end result being a 27-yard field goal that extended Bowie's lead to 10-3 midway through the second quarter.

It appeared as if Bowie State was about to pull ahead by another touchdown when the Bulldogs recovered a Concord fumble at the CU three-yard line, but Richardson picked off a pass to keep it a one-score game.

However, Bowie was able to hold the Concord offense and get the ball back, leading to a 72-yard touchdown run by Brown to push the Bowie lead to 16-3 heading into halftime.

Neither team's offense was able to establish a drive in what turned out to be a scoreless third quarter and Concord would head into the fourth quarter still trailing by 13 points.

Concord won the battle for field position for the majority of the third quarter and it would pay off in the fourth, with the Mountain Lions starting their first drive from the Bowie State 43-yard line and proceeded to march down the field with a 10-play drive that ended with Novak scrambling three yards on fourth down for the CU touchdown to cut the lead to just six points at 16-10 with 10 minutes left in regulation.

CU had four more chances to score the go ahead touchdown, but was unable to finish off the comeback attempt in part due to two turnovers inside the Bowie State red zone.

The last play of the game saw a Novak pass from the Bowie State nine-yard line intended for Henderson fall incomplete.

Bowie State was led by Brown, who ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

To put the exceptional play by the Concord defense into perspective, Bowie State was averaging 41.5 points per game

Concord returns to Mountain East Conference play Sept. 28 at West Liberty. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. The Mountain Lions defeated West Virginia State 36-3 in their MEC opener on Sept. 14.