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Bowie State takes down Livingstone

BOWIE, Md. — All the X’s and O’s in the CIAA alphabet couldn’t have helped Livingstone in its conference opener Saturday night.

The Blue Bears allowed seven touchdowns, were penalized 17 times and lost four fumbles in a 45-17 thrashing at Bowie State.

“One game doesn’t make a season,” coach Daryl Williams said in a post-game telephone interview. “They were just better than us tonight. No qustions about it.”

The setback left Livingstone (1-1, 0-1) a bit dazed but certainly not confused. It produced enough offense to beat many teams, just not one that had three-time CIAA Quarterback-of-the-Week Matthew Goggans calling signals.

“He was very good, much better than the quarterback they had last year,” Williams said after Goggans passed for 345 yards and four touchdowns. “He’s a premier pocket passer and he did everything we saw on film. We’re young in the secondary and came away a little shell-shocked, but that’s going to happen.”

It first happened on Bowie State’s second play from scrimmage when Goggans tossed a 47-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Kerrick Pollack. LC returned fire moments later on a fourth-and-7 play when Anthony Grady took a handoff from Drew Powell and raced 54 yards for a game-tying TD.

“We had just faked a punt and got an offsides penalty,” Williams said. “With five more yards we decided to take a chance. They rushed us up the middle, we hit them from the outside and (Grady) took off. They over-ran the play.”

From there the game quickly turned into a nightmare of Elm Street proportions. Bowie State (3-1, 1-0) scored a pair of touchdowns within a 3:37 span — both on Goggans passes — and led 20-7 after one quarter. By halftime it 33-10. Goggans fired his 13th touchdown pass of the season in the third period when Pollack got free for a 56-yard score. Then in the fourth period Stephen Willis scored the Bulldogs’ third rushing TD on the night.

Livingstone mounted its best drive in the fourth quarter when Powell capped a 10-play, 72-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. He provided 224 yards passing and another 130 on the ground. But he was sacked four times and lost two fumbles in the second half — both during a three-straight-possession giveaway spree.

“We moved the ball,” Williams said. “We got down in the red zone and couldn’t score. The sad part is we hadn’t fumbled until tonight. But every time we had a good drive going we beat ourselves. This was a bad night all around.”

In particular, Williams said the Blue Bears can’t play soft in the secondary, can’t give up 170 yards in penalties must give Powell better protection if they expect to contend for the league’s Southern Division title.

“This game doesn’t raise any questions,” Williams insisted. “We’re still 3-1 (including two non-count victories). All it means is we’re 0-1 (in the conference), and this was against a team on the other side. That made it a little easier.”

NOTES: Livingstone returns home to face Elizabeth City State next Saturday afternoon. … Wideout Jalen Hendricks caught seven passes for 97 yards and freshman Armond Cox led the defense with seven tackles. … Bowie State had 542 total yards while LC produced 437.

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