College football: Blue Bears battle in 28-20 loss to VUU

Published 1:31 am Sunday, September 17, 2023


Staff report

SALISBURY — Livingstone put up a fight against Virginia Union at Alumni Memorial Stadium on Saturday, but the Panthers left town with a 28-20 victory.

The Blue Bears displayed several new components to their passing game.

QB Brenton Hilton was intercepted four times, but he threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns.

Angel Cariollo made five catches for 147 yards and a score, while reliable Matthew Henry produced nine catches for 111 yards and two TDs.

Virginia Union (3-0, 1-0) played without superstar running back Jada Byers, who was injured in last week’s victory against Shaw, but Rashard Jackson stepped in for Byers and rushed 32 times for 185 yards and two scores to lead the visitors.

Virginia Union only threw eight passes all day, and two of those were intercepted by the Blue Bears.

Livingstone (0-3, 0-1) was a heavy underdog after being pounded by Bluefield State and Catawba in its first two outings, but took a 13-0 lead in the first quarter on Hilton’s TD passes to Carillo (79 yards) and Henry (27 yards).

The second quarter belonged to Virginia Union. Jackson finished drives of 77 and 80 yards with scoring bursts, while Curtis Allen had the 3-yard TD run that gave Virginia Union a 21-13 halftime lead.

Virginia Union scored in the third quarter to make it 28-13 after blocking a punt and starting a possession at the Livingstone 11.

Livingstone got back to 28-20 with 6:20 left in the third quarter on Hilton’s second touchdown pass to Hilton.

But Virginia Union was able to hang on during a scoreless fourth quarter.

Virginia Union linebacker Jabril Norman (Salisbury) was credited with five tackles.

JyMikaah Wells (Salisbury) carried 11 times for 14 yards for the Blue Bears, who struggled to get a running game going.

Livingstone plays at Virginia State next week, while Virginia Union will play Fayetteville State in Richmond.