Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 1, 2012
SALISBURY – Livingstone wants to get the ball in the hands of gifted returner Terry Anderson as often as possible, although returning 10 kickoffs in the same night isn’t what head coach Elvin James had in mind.
Anderson’s 199 return yards were just one of the wild stats in Livingstone’s 70-35 loss to Chowan at Alumni Stadium on Saturday night.
Livingstone hadn’t scored as many as 35 in a game since it beat J.C. Smith 37-19 in 2002. That was the good news.
The bad news was the Blue Bears hadn’t allowed 70 since they took it on the chin from J.C. Smith 83-6 in 1964.
“I was impressed with what our new offense coordinator (Darryl Williams) is doing,” James said. “But our defense was disappointing. We had some people missing in the secondary, but I thought we’d be more ready.”
Livingstone’s freshman QB Drew Powell was 22-for-35 passing for 343 yards and four scores, while Anthony Holland had 10 catches for 195 yards. Holland explained that the offense has adopted the nickname – the HOBOS – as in High Octane Big Offense.
“Like a hobo, we’ve got a lot of things in our cart,” Holland said. “Our quarterback is only 17. He’s good, but we had some offensive mistakes and special-teams mistakes as well as defensive mistakes.”
Chowan QB Cameron Stover (20-for-30, 281 yards, four TDs) took advantage of most of those errors and got help from the Hawks’ star receiver Robert Holland (13 catches, 213 yards, three TDs). Holland was unstoppable before he exited via ambulance with an injury in the middle of the third quarter.
Livingstone’s struggles included 185 yards in flags, four lost fumbles and five sacks.
“I saw a lot of leadership from our young quarterback, but there were times he needed to get rid of the ball earlier,” James said.
Chowan led 21-0 in the first quarter, sufficient reason for some previous Blue Bear teams to lose 60-0.
But this was different.
Powell threw TD passes to Carl James and Holland and Javon Williams broke a 54-yard scoring run as the Blue Bears fought back to a 35-21 deficit late in the first half.
“We stuck with the plan,” Holland said. “I never stopped believing we’d come back.”
Livingstone’s defense made a fourth-and-goal stop at the 1-yard line when Ilyas Franklin broke up a pass, but the excitement lasted only a few seconds. Livingstone fumbled the ball right back, and Chowan punched in the score. It was 49-21 at halftime.
“The fumble after the defense got a big stop was a momentum-killer,” Holland said.
Livingstone had a 10-play, 99-yard drive in the second half and finished with 448 net yards of offense. Chowan, however, piled up 635 yards.
“We’re disappointed with the loss, but it’s still something we can build on,” James said. “There were a lot of offensive sparks out there. When you move the ball like we moved it, there’s a lot of hope for the future.”
Livingstone plays at Catawba (1-0) next week in the annual battle for the Mayor’s Cup.