GREENE COUNTY — Host Elizabeth City State’s defense struck on the first play of the game, then lightning struck to end it, in Central State’s 19-10 loss Saturday, Sept. 1 in Elizabeth City, N.C.
ECSU defensive back Taeyon Reynolds stripped the ball away from a Central State running back and returned the fumble 65 yards for a score on the first play of the game. A Jason Monastra extra point made the score 7-0 ECSU barely 13 seconds into the game.
The CSU Marauders got onto the scoreboard in the second quarter, however. An 11-play, 69-yard drive was capped with sophomore Trevor Teel’s 28-yard field goal to pull Central State to within 7-3 at the half.
A late third-quarter 20-yard ECSU touchdown pass from quarterback Kedri Patterson to Jaquari Bellamy made it 13-3, Vikings. The extra-point try had failed.
Central State then pulled within three points of the lead when senior tight end Darius Ford hauled in a 21-yard pass from Marauders QB Trent Mays for a score. Teel converted the extra point, and with 14:35 left in the game, the score was 13-10 Vikings. The Marauders traveled 71 yards on 10 plays on the scoring drive.
ECSU’s Gregory Bryan then gave the Vikes some breathing room with a 71-yard TD run with 13:29 left to play.
Barely a minute more ran off the game clock when lightning delayed the contest for two hours and 50 minutes. After multiple delays, game officials then decided to call the game.
Senior running back Terraris Saffold led CSU in rushing with 49 total yards on 17 carries. Saffold also snared three passes for 17 yards, and returned kickoffs for another 42 yards, good for 108 yards in all-purpose yardage. Senior QB Mays completed 12 of his 18 passes for 118 yards, including the 21-yarder to Ford for a score. He also had one interception. Ford caught a pair of passes in the game for a team-high 48 yards.
Marauders senior punter Isaiah Smith had a 50.9 yards-per-punt average on three kicks, with one that traveled 59 yards.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Kailen Abrams led CSU with seven tackles, including 1 1/2 tackles for a loss and 1 1/2 sacks. Sophomore defensive back Christopher Lewis was next on the tackles chart with six.
Central State (0-1) will play its home opener next at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 when they’ll host Clark Atlanta University (0-1) for a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchup at McPherson Memorial Stadium. The CAU Panthers lost 31-30 at Mississippi College last week.
Statistics provided by Central State and Elizabeth City State Universities. Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.