VIKINGS WIN TRIPLE OVERTIME THRILLER, 43-41 OVER VIRGINIA UNION
Oct. 9, 2011
RICHMOND, VA- It took three extra sessions however the Elizabeth City State University Vikings shook off a bye week's worth of rust to top Virginia Union University at their Homecoming 43-41 in a triple overtime win Saturday at Hovey Field.
In tailback Daronte McNeill, the Panthers saw no effects of ECSU's week off. True to form, McNeill torched the Panther defense for 235 (233 net) yards on 41 carries and a career best 4 touchdowns.
After the Vikings took a 41-35 lead on the first possession of the third overtime via a 9-yard rushing score by Kevin Swain, McNeill broke the goal line for a two-point conversion which proved to be the winning score margin.
By himself, McNeill gained one more yard than the entire Virginia Union rushing output.
For the most part, the ECSU defense kept the Panthers at bay on Saturday giving up only 232 yards of total offense. The Viking offense finished the day with a season high of 524 yards overall on 94 plays from scrimmage.
The Panther's Richard Rodwell got his only touchdown of the afternoon in the final overtime, but his follow-up rush for the two point conversion to force a 4th overtime failed and the Vikings escaped with the win.
The Panthers got on the board first when a bad snap on an ECSU punt attempt gave Virginia Union a short field at the Vikings' 22-yard line. Three plays later a 9-yard TD rush by Jerrell Washington gave the Panthers a 6-0 lead (extra point was blocked) with 17 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Vikings responded quickly to take the lead on the ensuing possession. A 73-yard screen pass from Creven Powell to DeAundre Barfield set up McNeill's first score of the day and a 7-6 advantage. His next score would come from 1-yard out with 1:51 left in the half. Kevin Miller's missed the extra point making the score 13-6 but redeemed himself hitting on a 35-yard field goal as time expired for a 16-6 halftime lead.
ECSU's opened the second half with a drive that ended when Rickey Jarman's punt attempt was blocked through the back of the end zone for a safety. The Panthers trailed 16-8 but could not get going offensively and ECSU would strike again with a 7-play, 88 yard drive and another TD for McNeill. After another missed extra point ECSU held onto a 22-8 lead.
The Panthers surged again much to the delight of their Homecoming crowd. Once again they capitalized on a short field courtesy of a Viking mistake. Antonio Harris returned a kickoff to the Viking 42 and a personal foul added another 15 yards to the ECSU 27. Hickman got his first passing score of the day when he found Raymond Mack on an 18-yard pass play with 6:59 to go in the third quarter.
The Panthers tied it up at 22 apiece on a 1-yard rush by Hickman with 12:21 to go in the game and neither team would find the end zone for the rest of regulation. When ECSU's extra point attempt was blocked in the first OT and the Panthers tied it up on a 7-yard pass from Hickman to Mack, Virginia Union had an opportunity to win the game but Francisco Macias' extra point attempt missed its mark.
Virginia Union slips to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the CIAA.
ECSU (4-2, CIAA 2-1) will return to action for Homecoming 2011 when they host Virginia State University on Saturday, October 15th. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30pm at Roebuck Stadium. For more information on ECSU Athletics, visit www.ecsuvikings.com and follow us on Twitter @ECSUVikings.