Shaw Downs Fayetteville State in Overtime, 35-29
[Fayetteville, NC] - For Shaw quarterback Quinshon Odom, calling the Bears' come-from-behind victory an emotional roller coaster would be an understatement.
The Bears fought back from a 29-7 deficit midway through the third quarter, scoring 28 unanswered points - including a touchdown pass from Odom to James Pettway in overtime - that gave the Shaw a 35-29 win at FSU's homecoming game. While a number of Bears provided highlights, the story was Odom's.
Near the end of the first half, Odom was benched after giving up both an interception and a fumble and clocking 127 yards - 75 of those on a single play. But when his replacement was sidelined with an injury, Odom responded with a second half where he went 16 for 25, garnering 249 yards - topping his full game career high - and two touchdowns.
On the game, Odom had 376 yards on a 24 for 42 performance with three touchdowns. He was sacked five times.
"I got on him pretty hard in the locker room (at the half)," said Shaw head coach Darrell Asberry. "But he answered the challenge and he proved me wrong."
Early, it looked like Odom and the offense would burn up the field. On their second possession, Odom found Daniel Lee on what became a 75-yard touchdown strike to give the Bears a 7-0 lead.
From there, the offense sputtered and FSU's defense took advantage, scoring the Broncos' first points by recovering an Odom fumble and returning it for a touchdown. They took the lead on a touchdown drive that really began when FSU's defense pinned the Bears deep and forced a punt that gave the Broncos outstanding field position on the Shaw 28.
On Shaw's next drive, Odom was picked off and the interception was returned to the Shaw seven, giving the Broncos an easy drive for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead.
On the next Shaw drive, Homer Causey came into the game at quarterback, but a lingering hamstring injury forced him into a sweat suit in the second half and gave Odom the chance for redemption.
Odom did not immediately grasp the opportunity, throwing another interception on the Bears' first drive of the second half. FSU's Simeon Marshall returned the interception 46 yards for the touchdown, and a two-point conversion made the score 29-7 FSU with 10:31 remaining in the third.
Then the story shifted. On the next drive, the offensive line gave Odom more time in the pocket and Odom found the open receivers, and a Shaw runner - Cory Norman - even managed a 45-yard run to propel the Bears on an 80-yard drive that culminated with Antonio Dunn's two-yard push into the end zone. The attempt at a two-point conversion failed and the Bears trailed 29-13.
With only 5:27 left on the clock, and still trailing by 16, Odom hit Bobby Holliday for 29 yards and James Pettway for 25. A pass interference penalty put the ball at the two and Fred Holliday barreled into the end zone - then repeated the feat on the try for two points - cutting the FSU lead to only eight, 29-21 with 4:40 left in the game.
On the ensuing kickoff, Lyncon Shepherd squib kicked the ball toward the Shaw sideline, giving it a high bounce and pinballing off of FSU receivers and into Shaw's hands at midfield. Six plays later, Odom hit Malik Cross for a 30-yard strike for a touchdown. Odom then hit Pettway for the two-point conversion and a tie score with 3:01 left on the clock.
The Broncos battled back, driving the ball down the field as the clock ticked toward 0:00. With 10.1 seconds showing on the clock, FSU's All-CIAA kicker Austin Turner lined up for a 38-yard field goal attempt. The Bears did not get all their personnel off the field, drawing the flag and moving Austin five yards closer to the target. But the Bears blocked the kick and sent the game into overtime.
Shaw got the ball first in the extra period, and Odom was sacked for a loss of ten on the very first play. He then hit Bobby Holliday for 18 and Pettway for 17 yards and the touchdown. The PAT was blocked, giving Shaw the tenuous 35-29 lead as FSU got the ball for their attempt.
Colon Bailey, who had rushed for 149 yards and scored two touchdowns for the Broncos, got the first touch for FSU on their overtime drive. But he fumbled the ball and Darnell Evans eventually recovered it securing the Shaw win.
After the game, Asberry - who had never won at Fayetteville State - was nearly speechless. "Wow," he said. "That was an incredible come-from-behind victory. We finally caught a break."
Odom's 24 completions, 42 attempts, three touchdown passes, and 75-yard strike were all career highs for the sophomore. His 376 yards were the Shaw offense, as the rushing game lost five yards on the afternoon.
Norman's 43-yard carry - the longest the Bears have had this season - gave him the rushing lead with a total of 45 yards for the game. Lee was the Bears leading receiver with three catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. Pettway hauled in six passes for 84 yards and one touchdown.
The Shaw defense only surrendered 14 points, and the pass defense - the best in Division II going into this game - gave up only 18 yards through the air. Marcus Skeen and Rashard Coleman led the Bears with ten tackles apiece. Coleman's tally included two sacks.
Bailey ran for 149 yards to lead the Broncos, who finished with a total of 201 yards of rushing offense. Chau Concepcion threw only 12 times, completing six for a total of 18 yards. He was sacked four times.
Defensively, Bryce Williams had eight tackles for FSU, including two tackles for a loss. Joshua Scales had six tackled in addition to an interception.
Next week, the Bears continue their three-game road trip when they travel to Murfreesboro, NC, where they will take on Chowan for their homecoming game. Kickoff is at 6:00 p.m. This will be the third straight homecoming game for Shaw after having lost their homecoming to Johnson C. Smith and then ruining FSU's homecoming this afternoon.