Livingstone-Chowan preview box

Published 12:14 am Saturday, September 23, 2017


Garrison Stadium — Murfreesboro — Today, 6 p.m.

Live stats:  www.

LAST WEEK: Livingstone lost at Hampton, 59-0; Chowan lost at West Florida, 51-23

COACHES: Livingstone — Daryl Williams’ record is 15-27, in his fifth season. Chowan — Tim Place, 10th season, 34-59; overall, 12th season counting two years at Urbana (11-11), 45-70. Has had two straight winning seasons (2015-16), both 6-4 records.

SERIES: Chowan leads, 5-0. The first game was in 2008 (41-20) and the last was in 2016 (41-13). In fact, Chowan has never scored less than 41 points in any game against Livingstone, including a 70-35 win in 2012.

KEY PLAYERS: Livingstone — Quarterback Xavier Longerbeam, a sophomore who started seven games last year and the season opener at Benedict on Sept. 2, returned after sitting out a week with concussion protocol.

“Longerbeam came on in the second half and marched us down the field,” added Williams. “Longerbeam played well and is the QB as long as he’s healthy. We’re not juggling quarterbacks.”

As it turned out, several key starters didn’t play at Hampton. Defensive lineman Armond Cox battled the flu all week, and others — defensive backs Kevin Williams, Gregory Hines and Jeremy Lewis and running backs Jarius Richardson amd Marcus Baisy, were all battling various injuries.

“You want guys to play every week, but it is more important to have your key players down the stretch, if possible,” said Williams. “I feel good that it’s working out this way. We’re getting healthier at the right time.”

Newcomer Elroy Harris, a safety, is third on the team in tackles for the Blue Bears this season in tackles and in pass break-ups.

Livingstone has been using a lot of different running backs, including newcomer Art’kevious Nelson and Salisbury’s own Justin Ruffin. But Williams said that Richardson, a senior in his third year for the Blue Bears, is the guy.

“Jarius is definitely our starting tailback, when he’s healthy,” said Williams. “He makes us go.”

Richardson rushed for 749 yards and eight touchdowns last season, but so far in 2017, has but 95 yards and no scores in his two games.

Wide receiver Everett Ransom has 10 catches for 129 yards and one touchdown
to lead the team. He is averaging 12.9 yards per catch and 43.0 yards per game.

Chowan — The Hawks have Bryce Witt at quarterback and average 272 yards passing per game. But Williams is even more concerned with the Hawks’ defensive ends Nate Wyche (6-1, 235) and David Harden (6-3, 240). “Those two guys really get after it,” said Williams.

NEXT WEEK: Livingstone finally plays its home opener, taking on Virginia State in the West End Classic (6 p.m.).