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Hawks suffer heart break

MURFREESBORO n It was a heart-breaking way to lose a football game.

Chowan University watched victory slip through their hands Saturday afternoon at James G. Garrison Stadium when they were stopped at the one-yardline as time expired in a 10-5 loss to Brevard College.

“This one’s tough,” Chowan coach Lorick Atkinson said. “This one hurts. We’re going to have to fight to come back for the next four weeks.

“We will,” he added. “The kids are resilient and the coaches are going to be resilient. This one really hurts.”

Despite struggling most of the day offensively, the Hawks appeared ready to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as time ran down.

The Hawks took over possession of the ball near the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter at their own 25-yardline.

From there, they marched all the way to the one before time expired.

Facing third-and-five early in the possession, quarterback Randy Gilbert connected with Ashonzay Matlock on a six-yard gain out to the 36-yardline.

Following an incompletion, Gilbert completed back-to-back passes to Montino Williams and Jack Ross to move the back to the Brevard 47-yardline.

Facing a third-and-three from the 30-yardline, Gilbert found Williams at the three-yardline to give the Hawks the ball first-and-goal at the three.

Gilbert and Ross each carried the ball, netting one yard before the Hawks spiked the ball to stop the clock. On fourth-and-goal, a pass interference call in the endzone gave Chowan a first-and-goal from the one with nine seconds to play.

Gilbert, however, was stopped attempting to get into the endzone and time expired with Brevard getting the 10-5 win.

Chowan took the early lead in the contest when Cory Cline booted a 35-yard field goal on the Hawks’ second possession.

The Hawks took over possession at their own 17-yardline and moved the ball to the Brevard 18 before having to settle for the field goal.

The big play on the drive was a 33-yard run by Pat McKinnon on a fake punt when the Hawks faced a fourth-and-12 at their own 37-yardline.

The Hawks held that lead until the closing moments of the first half when Brevard took possession of the football at their own 38-yardline with 2:08 to play in the second quarter.

The Tornados moved the ball to their own 44-yardline where they faced a second-and-14.

After picking up the first down on a Tyrone Arrington run, quarterback Will Cox connected with Michael Moore on a 40-yard touchdown pass. Brendan Frazer added the PAT and Brevard led 7-3 at the intermission.

After being forced to punt as the second half opened, the Hawks returned the favor and made the Tornados punt out of their own endzone.

Matt Virgil blocked the Brevard punt and the ball rolled through the back of the endzone for a safety to trim the Chowan deficit to 7-5.

Despite getting the ball back on the free kick, the Hawks couldn’t convert and had to punt the ball away.

Brevard completed their only other scoring drive moments into the fourth quarter when Frazer booted a 26-yard field goal to make it 10-5.

“We have to give Brevard credit, they made the plays,” Atkinson said. “I’m sure it was a good college football game to watch.”

Atkinson said he was pleased with the defensive performance the Hawks gave.

“The defensive coaches had a good game plan,” he said. “They did a very good job. They played well enough for us to win.”

Chowan rushed for just 77 yards on the day, but Gilbert completed 18 passes for 174 yards to push the total offense to 251 yards on 70 plays.

Ronnie Fields and Jecol Edwards led the defensive effort for the Hawks with Fields recording a team-high 10 tackles and returning one interception 28 yards.

The Hawks (0-6) have a week to prepare for North Greenville College where they will play next week.