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PETERSBURG, Va.  – The Shaw University football team put up a great fight against the defending Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Champions Virginia State University but the Bears fell 34-17 to the Trojans on the road at Rogers Stadium Saturday night.


The loss is the first conference setback of the season for Shaw as the Bears drop to 1-3 on the year. Virginia State improves to 2-0 within the league and 2-2 overall.


Shaw combined for 360 total offense, including 298 passing and 62 rushing but the Trojans tallied 511 offensive yardage that featured 154 on the ground and 357 through the air.


The Bears scored the game's first touchdown when quarterback Keon Marsh (Queens, NY) found junior tight end Kevonta Moses (Fort Myer, FL) for his first touchdown of the season on a 23 yard pass, giving Shaw the 7-0 lead.


Shaw would hold on to the seven point advantage until VSU scored with 36 seconds left in the first half when Demetrius Strickland produced a seven-yard rushing touchdown to even the score at 7-all at halftime.


Both teams scored twice in the third quarter as the Bears took the lead on a 33-yard field goal from junior kicker Beni Kinsemi (Charlotte, NC) at the 10:21 mark. The Trojans responded with a slant route six yard reception touchdown from Maleek Henderson that led to a 14-10 spread over Shaw with 8:28 left in the third frame.


VSU added to its score on a one yard rushing touchdown from its quarterback Cordelral Cook to push the Trojans lead 20-10 but the Bears quickly cut the deficit thanks to a 78 yard pass from Marsh to junior wide receiver Marquis Gorham (Greensville, NC) pull Shaw within three (20-17) heading into the fourth quarter.


The Bears found themselves trailing 27-17 in the fourth quarter when the Trojans scored off a one yard pass from Cook to Maurice Davis with 12:36 remaining. Shaw had an opportunity to score after gaining huge yardage for first downs including a 23 yard reception from Gorham but a false start, followed by an incomplete pass and quarterback sack from VSU resulted in the Bears turning the ball over on downs.


The next possession, the Trojans extended its lead to 34-17 after a seven yard rushing TD from Daniel Reid that would ultimately seal the deal for VSU, giving Shaw its second-consecutive loss.


Marsh finished with 298 yards on 20-of-36 pass completions and two touchdowns while Gorham turned in a career-high 151 receptions yards for catches and a TD, followed by senior wide receiver Raymond Green, Jr. (Durham, NC) finished with a career high 47 yards for three big receptions. McClain led the running backs unit with a team-best 11 carries for 65 yards.


Defensively, junior linebacker Devon Hunt (Hamlet, NC) and junior defensive back Thurman Trapp (Columbia, SC) recorded a game-high seven tackles apiece.


Shaw will return to action Saturday Oct. 1 for its home opener against the Broncos of Fayetteville State University for Senior Citizen Day. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Durham County Memorial Stadium.


For the most up-to-date information on Shaw football and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit