By Mark F.Gray
BOWIE, MD – Considering how beautiful the weather was for Bowie State’s 2008 homecoming celebration was and how the game ended, a 14-0 victory over St. Paul’s in miserable conditions was more than enough to satisfy the partisan crowd last weekend at Bulldog Stadium.
Thanks to a win in a game where the biggest opponent was the weather Bowie State now has its CIAA Championship Game destiny in their hands. With a win next Saturday at Virginia Union they can clinch east division and secure their place in the title game with a week left in the season.
Fortunately for the Bulldogs this was their final home game because the driving rains turned the field into a quagmire and would have rendered it useless for the rest of the season. There has never been a stronger argument for the university to install field turf and a better drainage system especially if it continues to host the Prince George’s Classic.
The teams combined for more turnovers (15) than they did points (14) with the Tigers unable to capitalize on any of the Bowie State miscues. As the weather got worse with each play, simple exchanges between quarterback and center became the focus of execution. The Bulldogs lost seven of their nine fumbles and scored the final touchdown on a recovery in the end zone.
Kenneth Turner’s 37 yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter proved to be the game winner as the Tigers repeatedly made questionable offensive calls throughout the contest. St. Paul’s coach Willard Bailey raised the white flag of submission when they got the ball in Bowie State territory with less than three minutes in regulation and he chose no to use any timeouts down by two scores to seal his team’s fate.
Three years ago Bowie State went to Richmond to play for the division title and it was all Virginia Union. This year the Bulldogs face the Panthers on homecoming after they rolled up 490 rushing yards in blasting Virginia State on national TV.
Bowie’s coach Damon Wilson was named CIAA Coach Of The Week for the second time this season after beating St. Paul’s. However, considering the discipline he has installed and the change in the direction of the program, a win Saturday would more than likely assure him of Coach Of The Year.