College Football: Livingstone Notebook
By Nick Bowton
Livingstone Lamonte Massie said several weeks ago that Steve Williams’ hold on the starting quarterback spot wasn’t permanent.
Sure, Williams played well enough to wrestle the position away from Bryan Aycoth, but Massie insisted the two would still compete every week. He maintained that position as Williams led the Blue Bears to back-to-back victories, and he followed through with that stance Saturday.
After Williams threw three interceptions in the first half, Massie turned to Aycoth in the second half against Chowan. Aycoth, a former West Rowan High standout, responded with two touchdown passes in a 41-20 loss.
Aycoth’s touchdown passes were his first as a Blue Bear. He’s now 47-for-111 with two touchdowns and six interceptions, while Williams is 49-for-109 with six touchdowns and five interceptions.
Massie said he almost made the switch during the second quarter Saturday but decided to let Williams finish the half.
“Bryan was probably hungry,” Massie said. “Bryan has been extremely humble the past three weeks. It’s kind of challenging as the head coach when you make a decision who’s the starter. I’m the kind of coach that likes to stick with a guy, typically, but I think in this scenario now we have a situation where they both complement each other. I’m going to make a decision toward the end of the week of who’s going to start.
“I would say Bryan would have a little bit of an edge. He did some of the things I asked him to do Saturday.”
IT’S OFFICIAL: The CIAA announced Wednesday that Chowan will officially be accepted as a full-time member as of July 1.
The Hawks won their first CIAA game against Livingstone, then had two players and coach Tim Place honored as weekly conference award winners. Chowan’s victory Saturday was only its second against a Division II opponent since 2005.
PRESEASON AWARD: The college basketball season isn’t officially under way yet, but Livingstone basketball player Chelsea Johnson will be in the spotlight this week as the Blue Bears celebrate homecoming.
A 5-foot-7 guard, Johnson is Livingstone’s homecoming queen.
DON’T FORCE IT: Chris Peoples had five receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown against Chowan and still leads the Blue Bears with 45.6 yards per game and 17.7 per catch, but Massie warned against focusing solely on one target.
“We threw interceptions, we ran bad routes, we focused too much on Christopher Peoples in the first half,” Massie said. “There were guys who were open all over the field, and we were trying too hard to get the ball to Chris. Chris is only one piece of the offense. We have got to look at all the other guys, all the different options.
“If Chris is open, we have got to throw it to him, but we have the philosophy the softest coverage and the shortest throw ó not the guy that can always score touchdowns. We want to get first downs. First downs turn into touchdowns.”
OVERCONFIDENT? After a pair of CIAA victories and a third win credited because of a forfeit, Livingstone traveled to Chowan with a 3-0 record in the conference.
“I take the blame,” Massie said. “I should have coached them up a little bit harder. I should have made sure the perceived pitfalls that come along with success, I minimized. Just making sure these guys don’t get a case of the big-head. And I think we did. We probably were extremely cocky.”
STAT SHEET: Freshman defensive back Devonta Harmon intercepted his third pass of the season Saturday, which has him tied for second in the CIAA.