Dante Bowlding running with the ball. PN Photo/Andrew Thrift
By Derek Brown
The UNC Pembroke football team traveled to Fairmont State looking to bounce after their previous loss. The Braves started off hot as they found a comfortable lead of 21-10 heading into the 4th quarter, but the defense couldn’t hold strong as Fairmont state would score 15 points in the 4th quarter to take a 25-23 win over the Braves.
The Braves received the ball first and they wasted no time finding the end zone on a 50-yard pass from quarterback Josh Jones to wide receiver Trey Dixon. On the following drive for Fairmont State, they pushed the ball forward inside on Braves territory to attempt a 32-yard field goal that missed wide left. The Braves got the ball back but couldn’t get anything going and punted the ball back to the Falcons. The first play of the Falcons drive would go for 56-yards and touchdown to tie the game up 7-7. The Braves would again get nothing going and would punt but the Falcons blocked the punt setting themselves up on the Braves 18-yard line, but the Braves defense stood strong and held the Falcons to a field goal giving Fairmont State the Lead 10-7 heading into the second quarter.
First drive in the 2nd quarter for the Braves resulted in nothing but a punt, but it wouldn’t be long until the Braves got the ball back on an interception by defensive back Virgil Lemons who would return the ball 25-yards and set the Braves up at the 37-yard line. Lemons hard work paid off as the Braves would capitalize on the Falcons turnover as Josh Jones would give the Braves the lead back with a 1-yard touchdown run. With the Braves leading 14-10, they played fancy and went for an onside kick, and it was recovered by UNCP’s Trent Brown. The onside kick wouldn’t amount to anything as the Braves offense would turn the ball over on downs with 5:47 left to play in the 1st half. Once again, the Braves defense stepped up and forced the Falcons to miss another field goal but this time it was 31-yards and missed wide right. The Braves would get one more possession in the 1st half but couldn’t get more points and went to halftime with a 14-10 lead.
The start of the 2nd half was slow, both teams traded punts back and forth, but with 1:46 left in the 3rd quarter the Falcons looked to punt the ball, but Redshirt Sophomore Dante Bowlding decided he wanted to take matters into his own hands and returned the punt 60-yards to increase the Braves lead 21-10. Fairmont State would start their drive by with only 3 seconds left in the 3rd quarter D’Andre Ferguso intercepted a Falcon’s pass which took the Braves into the 4th quarter with a 21-10 lead.
The 4th quarter in this game is one the Braves wish never happened, with the ball to start the quarter the Braves set themselves up with a 37-yard field goal, but it was blocked by the defense. Both teams went back and forth with punts once again until Fairmont State got the ball back with 4:25 left in the game. They marched down the field and scored a touchdown on a 5-yard run, the Falcons decided to go for a two-point conversion and were successful, making the score 21-18. The Falcons went for an onside kick to hopefully score and take the lead, and the Falcons recovered the ball with 2:40 left in the game. It took the Falcons three plays to score a 35-yard passing touchdown that gave them a late 25-21 lead. The Braves next possession, which was a big one, went 8 plays and 44-yards but ended in an interception. The Braves defense gave one last effort forcing a fumble in the endzone but was recovered by a Falcons player resulting in a safety which would give the braves two points. The Braves would get the ball with one second and one last play for a miracle, but an incomplete pass gave the Falcons a 25-23 victory.
The Braves football team falls to 1-3 and are back at home on October 1st against Frostburg state, the Braves are currently riding a two-game losing streak and are 0-3 while playing on the road.