Broncos Secure Victories Before the Storm

Fayetteville NC – The Fayetteville State Broncos (3-2, 2-1 CIAA) grabbed their third win and second CIAA conference victory of the season on Thursday night in a slim 13-10 final over the Chowan Hawks (2-3, 2-1 CIAA) at Luther “Nick” Jerald’s Stadium. The Broncos forced five turnovers on the defensive side and led for the majority of the game after an early first-quarter rushing score.

Syheim McQueen opened the scoring with a three-yard plunge near the goal line with 12:01 in the first quarter. The touchdown was the first career score for the sophomore and was set up by a forced fumble from Tyren Belcher that gave FSU possession on the Hawks’ four-yard line.

“Scoring my first career touchdown in college was amazing,” McQueen said after the game. “I need to feel that energy every game.”

The Broncos forced a total of three fumbles in the first half and recovered all three, holding the Hawks scoreless over the first 30 minutes and taking the 7-0 advantage into the halftime break.

“I thought we started off the game the way we wanted to start it off,” said Head Coach Richard Hayes. “The D-Line showed up big tonight every time the ball hit the ground.”

FSU quickly extended the lead out of the break as quarterback K’Hari Lane connected with wide receiver Barry Elliot for a 52-yard catch-and-run. The touchdown was the second of the season for Barry Elliot, making it the second straight game with a touchdown for the Fayetteville native.

Immediately following the PAT attempt, a mishandled hold led to a Chowan pickup and two-point score on the other end, putting the Hawks on the board at 13-2. Chowan scored their only touchdown later in the third quarter, as quarterback Caleb Price connected with Malik Tobias for a 30-yard reception. A successful two-point conversion put the Hawks back within a field goal at 13-10.

The Broncos’ defensive unit stepped up again in the fourth quarter and was led by defensive back Kolby Merritt along with edge rushers Devin Cowan and Cameron Merrell. Merritt finished with 11 total tackles, Merrell tallied three sacks, and Cowan also brought down the quarterback twice.

“All week coach emphasized pursuit to the ball, so all we had to do was get around the ball and that’s where we were going to make plays together,” said Merritt.

Defensive back Brandon Barnes-Brown helped seal the game late in the fourth quarter with an interception before the Broncos kneeled out the clock.

The Broncos are back at home for homecoming weekend next Saturday and will play host to the visiting St. Augustine’s Falcons. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 pm at Luther “Nick Jeralds Stadium.

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