Virginia State wins CIAA football championship before big crowd at Salem Stadium

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Alongside the 12th CIAA Championship Title the VSU Trojans claimed, second year head coach Reggie Barlow has led the Trojans to the program’s first 10-0 record. The win guaranteed Virginia State a spot in the upcoming NCAA Division II Championships. The Trojans have been working towards NCAA Seeding all season and now currently hold the No. 3 spot in the Super Region Two rankings.

The conference title is the first for the Trojans since 2014, after a 21-17 win over Winston-Salem State University at Durham County Memorial Stadium. This marks the first time that VSU has beat the Broncos of Fayetteville State University in a championship game.

The Trojans added three touchdowns in the opening half, as game MVP Trenton Cannon found the end zone on a 10-yard run and the extra point was good to take a 7-0 lead. VSU added another touchdown at the 7:32 mark when quarterback Cordelral Cook connected with Zachary Parker for an 84-yard pass to give VSU a 14-0 lead.  Closing out the first half the Cook found Joshua Harris on a five-yard pass to secure a touchdown for the Trojans, giving them a 21-0 lead at the half.

the Virginia State team takes the field with enthusiasm amidst the smoke and pageantry

Fayetteville State scored on its first drive of the second half with a 37-yard pass from Richard Latimer to Curtis Burston III. The Broncos trailed 21-7 with 12:21 left in the third quarter. The score capped a three-play 48-yard drive which took all of 37 seconds.

VSU then answered back as Cook rushed for 26 yards to find the end one edging the Broncos 28-7. Fayetteville State put together another quick scoring drive that ended with Stevie Green breaking into the end zone from 15 yards out. The Cannon explosion broke into the end zone from 73 yards out with 2:23 left in the third quarter.

The Cannon explosion continued in the fourth quarter with him breaking into the end zone from 79 yards out at the 7:56 mark growing, VSU’s lead 42-13. The Broncos added its final score on a 22-yard pass when Devin Knudsen found Curtis Burston to give the final score 42-19.

Cook finished the contest by completing 13-for-23 of his passes for 169 yards and two rushes for a touchdown. Senior Zachary Parker led all receivers with 86 yards on three receptions.

Virginia State racked up 439 total yards of offense compared to 384 for Fayetteville State University.

Salem Stadium manager
Scott Sampson tosses the coin prior to the game.
the Fayatteville band and dancers perform during a
“lull” in the action at last Saturday’s CIAA championship
football game at Salem Stadium.

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