Sunday, September 4, 2016

Seton Hill Wins 50-48 Shootout Over Bowie State in Season Opener

BOWIE, Maryland – Sophomore Robert Chesson (Annapolis, Md.) rushed for a team-high 131 yards and redshirt freshman Amir Hall (Bowie, Md.) passed for a school-record 427 yards and tied the school record with five passing touchdowns, but Seton Hill University won the shootout by a final score of 50-48 on Saturday afternoon.

Redshirt senior Nyme Manns (Baltimore, Md.) broke his own school record, with 211 reception yards and scored three touchdowns in the setback. The old reception yards in a game record was 194 at Central Connecticut State last season. Junior Lamar Montgomery (Baltimore, Md.) and sophomore Taylor Johnson (Washington, D.C.) paced the Bulldogs defense with nine tackles each.

Bowie State opened the scoring on their second possession. The Bulldogs were pinned on their own two yard line after a 72 yard punt by William Hodge was downed at the two. That did not stop Bowie State as Chesson took the next play and ran 98 yards for the game's opening touchdown. The Griffins tied the score at seven on a 14 yard touchdown pass from Christian Strong to Ardell Brown with 1:59 left in the first quarter. It didn't take Chesson long to break another long run, going 75 yards to take a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter. The Bulldogs' drive took just three plays and 51 seconds.

The Griffins took advantage of a short field on their first possession of the second quarter. They covered the 53 yards in only eight plays, capped off by a Jarvis McClam four yard touchdown run to tie the score at 14. The Seton Hill defense then forced a punt with the snap going over the head of Bowie State senior punter Christopher Palmer, giving Seton Hill the ball at the BSU 15 yard line. It took the Griffins just four plays to take the lead on a five yard TD run by Khalil Howard. Seton Hill led 21-14 midway thru the second quarter.

It did not take Bowie State's Bulldogs long to score as they hit another big play, this time a 59 yard touchdown pass from Hall to Manns. The PAT was missed by freshman Gene Carson, II and SHU leaving Seton Hill in front by a score of 21-20.

The Griffins fumbled on their next possession and Bowie State took advantage of the turnover to take the lead. The BSU combo on Hall and Manns connected on a 37 yard TD pass and catch to retake the lead at 27-21 with 3:17 to play in the first half. As the case most of the first half, Seton Hill snatched the lead right back. After an incompletion on their first play of the drive, Strong found Malik Scott with a 65 yard bomb to put Seton Hill back in the lead at 28-27 with 2:45 to play in the half. Bowie State sophomore Maurice Williams (Baltimore, Md.) ran the kickoff back to the Seton Hill 6-yard line and Hall scored three plays later to take a 34-28 lead with 1:52 remaining in the first half.

Seton Hill received the opening kick of the second half but was forced to punt. Bowie State then put together one of its longest drives of the game, going 82 yards in nine plays to extend their lead to 41-28 early in the second half. Manns hauled in his third score of the game, this time from 65 yards out.

Brown made a diving catch on a 46 yard reception to open the next Griffin drive. That play set up a 17 yard TD pass from Strong to Norman Darden that trimmed the BSU lead to 41-35 with 7:05 to go in the third quarter. Again a bad snap on a punt hurt the Bowie State special teams. This time it went out of the end zone for a safety, cutting the lead Bowie State lead to 41-37.

Seton Hill's McClam returned the free kick 47 yards to the Bowie State 17 yard line. That return set up a 17 yard TD pass from Strong to McClam, shifting the advantage back over to the Griffins at 44-41 with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. The Griffin defense then stepped up and made a big stop late in the third quarter. Seton Hill turned the ball over on an interception, giving Bowie State the ball at the Griffin 31 yard line. The Bulldogs could only manage two yards on three plays and Carson's 46 yard field goal fell short with 28 seconds left in the quarter.

Bowie State regained the lead for the final time on their first possession of the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs traveled 70 yards in 6 plays, capped by a 26 yard TD pass and catch from Hall to Williams to take a 48-44 lead with 11:41 left in the game. The Griffin offense responded right back with a touchdown drive of their own. Strong hit Scott for 11 yards and 30 yards on the drive and ended the drive with a 37 yard TD pass to Darden. The Griffins PAT was missed but Seton Hill led 50-48 with 9:42 to play. The Seton Hill defense forced Bowie State to go three and out on their final two drives and the Griffins offense was able to convert a fourth and three that allowed them to run the clock out and preserve the win.

Christian Strong was 28-of-44 for 447 yards and five touchdowns. The five touchdowns tie a Seton Hill single game record. Ardell Brown had nine catches for 157 yards and a TD. Malik Scott finished with four catches for 131 yards and a score. Norman Darden added five catches for 81 yards and 2 TDs. Fardan Allen had a strong game defensively. He led the team with eight tackles and added an interception, forced fumble, tackle for loss and pass break up. Tim Johnson and Alex Attia each added seven tackles.

Seton Hill racked up 26 first downs to just 16 for Bowie State. Bowie State's Bulldogs outgained the Griffins 523 to 508. However, the Bulldogs were penalized 11 times for 121 yards compared to six penalties for 60 yards for the Griffins.

Redshirt senior Nyme Manns broke his own school record, with 211 reception yards and scored three touchdowns in the setback. Chesson also recorded a personal career-best 103 reception yards. Graduate student Antoine Young (Washington, D.C.) had eight tackles and recovered one fumble. Redshirt junior Rahman Kamara (Bowie, Md.) picked off two passes and sophomore Bryson McAdams (Odenton, Md.) recorded one interception.

Bowie State University will host Johnson C. Smith University next Saturday (9/10) at 4 p.m.

Attendance: 1,716



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