On Saturday, September 4, 2021, all eyes were glued to the DSU Alumni Stadium as Delaware State battled Bowie State University.
Excitement, nerves, and anticipation filled both teams, as every player had something to prove. Not wanting to lose their first game, the Hornets and Bulldogs left it all out on the field. The DSU Hornets got off to a great start, when Ronald Holmes got a fumble by knocking the ball from Bowie quarterback, Ja’Rome Johnson. This led to quarterback Tylik Bethea running it in for a touchdown. After a bad snap on the ball, the extra point was no good.
The Hornets took an early lead up 6-0. Not taking care of the ball, the Hornets capitalized off of the Bulldogs’ turnovers. Romell Harris-Freeman got an interception, which gave the Hornets the ball and led to Sy’veon Wilkerson scoring a two-yard touchdown. Following the touchdown, the Hornets went for a two-point conversion, but were unsuccessful, as the lead remained 12-0.
The Hornets started the second quarter off strong, with Trey Gross blocking the Bulldogs punt. From a six-yard run, Sy’veon Wilkerson scored another touchdown. Jake Bridel’s extra point kick was successful, improving the score to 19-0.Beginning of the second quarter, the Bulldogs gained momentum with Alen Omerhodzic kicking a 36-yard field goal. He put Bowie State on the board, making the score 19-3. However, the Hornets answered back with Esaias Guthrie intercepting the ball and running it in for an 87-yard touchdown.
The first half finishes 26-3, with the Hornets dominating over the Bulldogs. Fans couldn’t contain their excitement, as they watched the Hornets put on an amazing first half performance. All 5,125 fans were in attendance at Alumni Stadium to watch both HBCUS go head-to-head, which was the most since 2007.
With the Hornets quickly taking over, the Bulldogs knew it was time to get their head in the game. At the start of the third, Ja’rome Johnson threw a 22-yard pass to Corey Johnson for a touchdown.Back-to-back touchdowns for the Bulldogs, as Kwincy Hall ran 23-yard for a touchdown.With less than six minutes in the third, the score was 26-15. Bowie’s fans were overjoyed, as their beloved Bulldogs were making a comeback.
To conclude their scoring streak, Sy’veon Wilkerson scored his third touchdown of the night on an 11-yard run. Bowie Defensive Back Demetri Morsell returned a blocked field goal for two points. Still having hope, Victor Olayinka scored a 39-yard touchdown but the overall efforts were not enough to defeat the Hornets.
A few Hornet star players shared their opinion on the game. Defensive Back Esaias Guthrie said, “It felt good to bring that sense of pride back to Delaware State. It’s something we’ve all been waiting for, alumni included and something we felt like we needed to do on our road to winning the MEAC. It’s been a long time since a football team has been 1-0 here.” Sy’veon Wilkerson, Running Back with three touchdowns and 92 rushing yards said, “I felt good after winning the game. I’m used to being on winning teams so it felt like any other game where you just go out and do your job then the result will take care of itself.” Captain Jawain Granger said, “We are changing the narrative of how people perceive Delaware State football. It was a good win but we are striving for something bigger.”
In the end, the Hornets remained victorious with a 32-24 win over the Bulldogs. With this win, the Hornets enter week two first in the MEAC Conference, which is the first time since 2007. Way to go Hornets